Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has arrived in Israel on a high profile visit, and right off the bat insisted that the US and Israel both feel “exactly the same” about Iran’s civilian nuclear program, adding that Israel has a “right” to attack Iran whenever it decides it wants to.
Hagel’s nomination to his position was held up briefly over allegations from opponents that he was insufficiently pro-Israel, and many see this trip as a chance for him to demonstrate a sufficiently obsequious posture to silence those critics.
Indeed, Hagel’s “exactly the same” proclamations insisted that one would have to go down to extreme specifics, like the exact timing of when to attack Iran, to even see the “possibility” of differences of opinion.
Hagel’s visit is aimed at presenting a high profile new round of US-subsidized arms sales to Israel, which Hagel insists is meant to send a “clear signal” to Iran of America’s support for Israel.
Other officials had previously said the arms sales were set up “so it would not be viewed as an American endorsement of accelerated planning by Israel to strike alone at Tehran,” but with officials openly endorsing that anyhow, it is hard to say the arms deal is sending any other message.