U.S. to reaffirm commitment to Israel's security

25/05/2012 16:32


(Reuters) - A senior State Department official will travel to Tel Aviv on Friday to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Israel's security following just-concluded talks between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program.

Wendy Sherman, undersecretary of state for political affairs, will discuss bilateral and regional issues with senior Israeli officials during her visit, the State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

Sherman will also "reaffirm our unshakable commitment to Israel's security," the statement said without mentioning the just-concluded Iran talks in Baghdad.

Israel regards Iran's nuclear aspirations as a threat given its calls for the demise of the Jewish state and has hinted at a potential pre-emptive military strike.

Israel is widely assumed to have the only atomic arsenal in the Middle East.

Two days of negotiations made little headway in resolving main sticking points around the dispute over Iran's nuclear efforts, but the sides agreed to another meeting next month in Moscow.

Iran says it has the right to enrich uranium and that its nuclear aims are peaceful. But the United States and other powerful nations suspect the goal is a nuclear weapon.

Major powers have imposed sanctions on Iran's energy and financial sectors and insist Teheran halt enrichment activities before easing them. Iran wants the sanctions lifted before it would stop nuclear activities.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that there would be no let up in sanctions even as talks continue.