The statement below is attributable to Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby:
Secretary Hagel spoke with Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon yesterday afternoon and received a briefing on Israel's interdiction operation in the Red Sea that seized a suspected Iranian shipment of advanced weapons bound for terrorist organizations operating in Gaza. The secretary congratulated the minister on the success of the operation, and reiterated the United States' commitment to holding Iran accountable for its destabilizing activities in the region, even as we continue efforts to resolve our concerns over Iran's nuclear program through diplomacy. Secretary Hagel made clear that illicit actions by Iran are unacceptable to the international community and in gross violation of Iran's U.N. Security Council obligations.
The Department of Defense and the Israeli Ministry of Defense have been in consistent touch on Israel's interdiction operation, coordinating extensively through military and intelligence channels. The secretary and the minister pledged to continue this close consultation as Israel completes its final inspection of the vessel, and reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Israel defense relationship.