Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman [R] and Secretary of Defense James Mattis (Ariel Hermoni/MOD) (Ariel Hermoni/MOD)
Liberman Mattis

The US and Israeli defense chiefs agreed to maintain an “open and frank” line of communication in order to improve cooperation, particularly in light of the growing Iranian threat.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman officially met for the first time with his American counterpart, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, where Liberman told Mattis that the three main problems Israel faces are “Iran, Iran and Iran.”

During their meeting Friday, Liberman called for the creation of a “real and effective” anti-Iran coalition that would address “the terrorism that [Iran] sends out to the world, the missile development it has been working on and its race to nuclear armament,” according to a statement from the Israeli minister’s office.

Iran and North Korea are part of the same “axis of evil” that includes “Hezbollah [terror group [in Lebanon] and the [Bashar] Assad regime in Syria,” Liberman said.

The defense chiefs agreed to maintain an “open and frank” line of communication to improve cooperation.

Mattis spoke by phone with Liberman late last month, shortly after entering office, to “underscore his unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” a Defense Department statement said after the conversation. Mattis called Liberman during his first week in office “to emphasize his intent to advance the US-Israeli defense relationship and to protect Israel’s qualitative military edge.”

Mattis and Liberman also discussed “regional security challenges in the Middle East and the need to create common approaches to challenges facing the region,” the statement continued. “Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the US-Israeli defense relationship and looked forward to meeting in person in the future” – which they did in Munich.

Facing Off with Iran

Addressing the Munich conference on Sunday, Liberman said that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), which is responsible for terror operations throughout the globe, is “the biggest and most brutal and sophisticated terror organization in the world,” and that its commander, General Qasem Soleimani, is the world’s leading terrorist.

Liberman called on the world to adopt a tough approach towards Iran’s aggression as well as for “moderate” Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, to stand together with Israel in opposing Tehran.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who stayed in the room while Liberman gave his address and spoke afterwards, criticized Iran, saying that “for 35 years, we have offered Iran our friendship and support, and got nothing but death and destruction.”

By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff