Blinken vows 'ironclad commitment' to Israel

Newly confirmed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken concludes his first press briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 27, 2021. (Photo: CGTN)

JERUSALEM, March 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken said on Sunday that his country has an "ironclad commitment" to Israel.

The remark was made at a joint press conference after his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem.

"Deal or no deal, we will continue to work together and with other partners to counter Iran's destabilizing behavior in the region," said Blinken, whose regional tour also focuses on calming the U.S. allies in the Middle East over the emerging renewed nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

For his part, Bennett said that Israel is "concerned" about the U.S. intention to remove Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) from the U.S. list of "foreign terrorist organizations," adding he hopes the United States will listen to "concerned voices" from the region on the issue, according to a statement from the Israeli prime minister's office.

The two officials also discussed Israeli efforts to mediate on the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the "warming in relations between Israel and the countries of the region, particularly the strengthening of the Abraham Accords."

Blinken will later participate in a historic meeting with Arab foreign ministers from Bahrain, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt in the Negev Desert in southern Israel.