Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late Monday that an increase in U.S. aid to Israel was the best way to contain Iran's continuing aggression in the Middle East.
Netanyahu, speaking at a dinner organized by the American Enterprise Institute after his meeting with President Obama at the White House, said he and the president had discussed a memorandum of understanding for U.S. aid to the Jewish state over the next 10 years. He said more aid to Israel was a bargain compared to the amount of money the United States has spent in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Israeli officials told Israeli reporters that Netanyahu had asked for an increase in aid from $3 billion a year to $5 billion over the next 10 years.
The meeting Monday between the two leaders was the first in more than a year, and was a bid to ease the tensions caused by the nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu was the most prominent world leader to oppose it, and even came to the United States in March to lobby lawmakers against it. Obama pointedly declined to meet with him then.
"We'll cooperate first of all to make sure that Iran doesn't cheat," Netanyahu said, noting that he recognized that the deal is now a reality.