News   /   Military

US set to boost military aid to Israel amid fears over Iran diplomacy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Barack Obama walks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he views a missile system in Israel, March 20, 2013.(file photo)

The United States is poised to increase its annual military assistance to Israel amid Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fears over nuclear diplomacy with Iran, according to reports.

With the current $3 billion annual military aid package set to expire in 2017, US and Israeli officials are discussing a new 10-year deal that could be worth up to $45 billion.

A US official said on condition of anonymity that the new agreement could bring US military aid up to $3.7 billion a year.

During a briefing with reporters on Thursday, Netanyahu refused to say how much Israel was requesting from the United States.

However, he said the increased military assistance was not a “quid pro quo” for a possible nuclear deal with Iran, which Israel strongly opposes.

“There is no trade-off requiring I agree to this [nuclear] deal with Iran. The deal is bad and we will continue to oppose it,” Netanyahu said, according to Israeli media.

Alistair Baskey, a White House National Security Council spokesman, acknowledged Thursday that US and Israeli officials were expected to discuss ways in which “long-term security cooperation between the two countries can be further strengthened.”

But, he said “no such detailed discussions at a senior level have occurred recently.”

The administration of former US president George W. Bush signed an agreement with Israel in 2007, providing it with $30 billion in military assistance over 10 years. Most of that money must be spent on American military products.

Israeli soldiers patrol near an Iron Dome system, designed to intercept incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, in the Golan, a region of northern Israel on January 20, 2015. (AFP photo) 

The money is separate from the nearly $500 million in annual US funding for Israel’s missile system programs in recent years.

Netanyahu made a speech before a joint session of Congress on March 3, warning US lawmakers that the White House was negotiating “a very bad deal” with Iran.

Representatives of Iran and the P5+1—the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, began their latest round of talks on drafting the text of a final nuclear deal in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Wednesday.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku