WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Carter was visiting Israel the same day that the UN Security Council approved the P5+1 countries’ nuclear agreement with Iran that US Secretary of State John Kerry and the representatives of Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France, plus Germany reached with Tehran last week.
The Israeli government strongly opposed the agreement.
“We will keep providing advanced capabilities — next year, Israel will be our first and only friend in the region flying the F-35 stealth fighter,” Carter said in a joint press conference on Monday with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, according to a US Department of Defense transcript.
Carter said that in his talks with Ya’alon, the two men discussed increased bilateral cooperation in the fields of cybersecurity activities and joint planning.
“We will maintain our vital support for Iron Dome, which last summer had a 90 percent success rate and saved countless Israeli lives.”
He was referring to the Israeli-developed and largely US-funded system against short-range ballistic missiles that was operated during Israel’s military incursion into Gaza in 2014.
“We will maintain our contributions to the David's Sling and Arrow systems that will shoot down longer-range rockets and ballistic missiles,” the defense secretary stated, referring to another largely US-funded Israeli ABM system.
“[T]his is an important set of advances,” he added.