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U.S., Israeli Defense Ministers discussed Iran, Regional Security

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met this morning at the Pentagon to continue discussions on a range of bilateral and regional security issues, including the Iranian threat, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters today.

The meeting, the defense leaders’ sixth this year, “touched on everything from the recent wildfires in Israel to ongoing peace process efforts to the challenges posed by Iran,” Morrell reported.

Gates last hosted Barak at the Pentagon in April, in talks that also focused heavily on Iran. Appearing at a joint media availability after that meeting, Gates expressed satisfaction with the level of planning by the Defense Department and other elements of the U.S. government to counter threats from Iran. Barak also endorsed diplomatic efforts and sanctions to steer Iran from its nuclear ambitions.

Following today’s visit with Gates, Barak also met with Vice President Joe Biden and National Security Council official Dennis Ross.

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