Hagel reaffirms U.S. commitment to preventing nuclear Iran

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reaffirmed U.S. commitment on Monday to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Hagel made the remarks on Monday during a visit to Saudi Arabia. During his meeting with Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Hagel discussed the recently concluded interim agreement with the P5+1. He noted the U.S. commitment to keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and maintaining a strong American defense presence in the Middle East.

Hagel and the crown prince, who serves as Saudi Arabia's minister of defense, both agreed that their countries are firmly committed to a strong defense relationship. Hagel and Salman talked of their mutual goal of achieving stability and security in the region.

"Secretary Hagel conveyed that the United States is fully committed to its security partnership with Saudi Arabia and seeks to deepen its cooperation even further," Carl Woog, the assistant press secretary for the DoD, said.

Hagel also talked with Salman about proposals Hagel announced at the Manama dialogue in Bahrain. One such proposal was to hold a U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council Defense Ministerial meeting in the region in the next six months.

Hagel also met with Salman bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's deputy minister of defense, to discuss regional issues, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Hagel invited the deputy minister of defense to visit the U.S. early next year for a meeting with senior U.S. military leaders.