US official rejects claims about military aid deal being compensation for nuclear deal with Iran

A senior level US official revealed details about the negotiation process that led to the signing of the US defense aid package for Israel. The official rejected the claims that the package is actually compensation for Israel following the nuclear deal with Iran. Meanwhile, the Israeli official who signed the agreement also spoke out against the criticism voiced by many Israeli officials.
The signing of the deal in Washington DC Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

In light of the criticism voiced by many Israelis officials regarding the defense aid package that was signed with the US, a senior level US official commented this morning (Sunday) on the details of the deal and the negotiation process that lasted 3 years. “Israel presented its needs as it perceived them according to different scenarios,” explained the US official. “We asked a lot of questions and tried to arrive at an agreement in light of these needs and our resources. There wasn’t any serious dispute about the major needs but the Israelis presented needs that were greater than our resources.”

The senior level US official weighed in on the rumors that the military aid deal was actually compensation for Israel in light of the nuclear agreement with Iran. According to the official, the negotiations regarding the defense aid package began in 2013, long before the agreement with Iran was signed. “Already during a telephone conversation between Obama and Netanyahu in April 2015, after the speech before Congress and after Lausanne, Obama offered to discuss not only the aid deal but also intelligence collaborations,” explained the official. “However, Netanyahu said that he is not interested in conducting these discussions until after the Iranian issue comes to an end.”

Yesterday, acting National Security Council chief Yaakov Nagel, who signed the defense aid package, commented on the Israeli criticism towards the deal. “Ever since I returned from the signing ceremony, I’ve witnessed much disinformation in the media from irresponsible critics, most of whom aren’t familiar with the negotiation process that went on for the last three and a half years, or the details of the package,” said Nagel.

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