Defense Minister Benny Gantz began his first official visit to the United States early Thursday by meeting with a host of high-ranking officials at the White House in an effort to drum up support for applying pressure on Iran over its nuclear ambitions.
The defense minister said two days ago that Iran has made significant strides vis-à-vis its nuclear program, and the cost of attacking the Iranian nuclear capabilities right now is much lower than a potential attack a year from now.
Upon his arrival, Gantz met with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. A press release from Gantz's office said during the meeting the two emphasized the unique bond between the two countries as "one based both on shared values and mutual interests".
He thanked Sullivan for the U.S. and President Joe Biden's commitment to the security cooperation between the respective defense establishment.
Gantz and Sullivan also discussed Iran's progression in its nuclear program alongside its destabilizing regional activities, emphasizing the need to work closely to prepare for any future scenarios.
"This would be conducted within the framework of Israel’s excellent defense cooperation with the U.S. and growing ties with regional partners," the press release added.
Gantz debriefed Sullivan on the recent wave of terrorism that claimed 19 lives inside Israel and the West Bank. The two discussed Israel's ongoing operational activities, Gantz emphasizing that Israel will take "the measures necessary to defend its citizens and sovereignty."
"He added that Israel’s defense establishment is continuing its policy of promoting confidence-building measures vis-a-vis Palestinian civilians that are not involved with terror activity," the press release stated.
The defense minister later in the day is set to hold talks with his American counterpart Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon.
The two are likely to discuss Iran's nuclear ambitions, the war in Ukraine and its impact on the Middle East.