By Kristina Wong - 03/20/14 10:40 AM EDT
In a phone call with Defense Secretary Chuck HagelChuck HagelThere's still time for another third-party option Hagel says NATO deployment could spark a new Cold War with Russia Overnight Defense: House panel unveils 5B defense spending bill MORE, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon “clarified” openly critical remarks about U.S. foreign policy this week.
During the call, Hagel “expressed deep concern about the minister's comments on U.S. policy towards Iran and reiterated the U.S. commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” according to the statement by Pentagon spokesman Adm. John Kirby.
In a speech at Tel Aviv University on Monday, Ya’alon criticized President Obama for having a weak foreign policy and said Israel could no longer rely on the United States to lead nuclear negotiations with Iran.
“We had thought the ones who should lead the campaign against Iran is the United States,” Ya’alon said. “But at some stage the United States entered into negotiations with them, and unhappily, when it comes to negotiating at a Persian bazaar, the Iranians were better.”
Ya’alon also went on to say the U.S. was demonstrating weakness in its foreign policy overall, citing its handling of Ukraine as an example.
“If your image is feebleness, it doesn’t pay in the world. Nobody will replace the United States as global policeman. I hope the United States comes to its senses. If it doesn’t, it will challenge the world order, and the United States is the one that will suffer," he said.