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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stresses U.S. commitment to Israel's security amid growing Iran tensions

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived for his first visit in Jerusalem amid nuclear talks in Vienna and growing tensions between Israel and Iran.

Why it matters: Austin met his counterpart Benny Gantz and will meet later with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss Iran and regional security issues.

  • In recent weeks there have been a number of attacks between Israel and Iran in the Red Sea and the Gulf.
  • Netanyahu has said Israel will not be bound by any new nuclear deal.

What they are saying: In press statements after the meeting, Gantz said Israel will work with the Biden administration to make sure any future nuclear deal preserves the interests of the world, prevent a nuclear arms race and protect Israel.

  • Austin didn’t mention Iran in his statement and stressed the Biden administration’s commitment to Israel’s security.

Driving the news: Early Sunday, Iran announced “an accident” occurred at its uranium enrichment facility in Natanz.

  • The spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Behrouz Kamalvandi said the accident occurred in the electricity distribution system of the Natanz enrichment facility.
  • He said the cause of the incident is under investigation but stressed there were no casualties and no pollution was caused by the accident.
  • In recent hours, Israeli media speculated that it was not an accident and that the power outage could have been caused by a cyber-attack.

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