With the looming announcement of a new Iran nuclear deal that will likely pave the way for Tehran to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, it would advance U.S. national security interests to expedite delivery of weapons systems and platforms that Israel could use to prevent a nuclear Iran, as a last resort. Specifically, as JINSA has recommended, the United States should immediately transfer to Israel two KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tankers.
Despite Israel already securing financing to acquire these platforms from the United States, the Biden administration has declined delivering them before 2024, at the earliest. The Biden administration’s opposition has stemmed from its desire to avoid upsetting Iran during nuclear negotiations. Once talks conclude—which are expected to yield a deal that endangers Israel and the stability of the Middle East—the Biden administration will no longer have a reason to deny its partner this vital military assistance. If the president does not act quickly and decisively to bolster Israeli military capabilities, Congress should act to encourage fast-track transfer to Israel of at least two KC-46As.
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