Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe “Boogie” Yaalon yesterday afternoon and received a briefing on Israel’s interdiction operation in the Red Sea that seized a suspected Iranian shipment of advanced weapons bound for terrorist organizations operating in Gaza.
In a statement summarizing the phone call, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said the secretary congratulated Yaalon on the operation’s success and reiterated the U.S. commitment to holding Iran accountable for its destabilizing activities in the region, “even as we continue efforts to resolve our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program through diplomacy.”
“Secretary Hagel made clear that illicit actions by Iran are unacceptable to the international community and in gross violation of Iran’s U.N. Security Council obligations,” the press secretary added.
The Defense Department and the Israeli Defense Ministry have been in consistent touch on Israel’s interdiction operation, Kirby said, coordinating extensively through military and intelligence channels.
“The secretary and the minister pledged to continue this close consultation as Israel completes its final inspection of the vessel,” he said, “and reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Israel defense relationship.”