On Wednesday (Oct. 26), President Joe Biden and Israeli President Isaac Herzog held talks centered on Iran. The two leaders discussed Tehran's nuclear program and what Washington claims is Iran's sale of arms to Russia.
Speaking to reporters as they sat in the Oval Office, Herzog said he and Biden will be attending the COP27 UN climate change session in Egypt next month.
Herzog highlighted that it had been 40 days since the death in captivity of Iranian national Mahsa Amini. She had been held by morality police for wearing an "improper" hijab, and her death has sparked outrage.
"This is an example of Iran crushing their own citizens while moving forward towards nuclear weapons and supplying lethal weapons that is killing innocent citizens in Ukraine. The Iranian challenge will be a major challenge to be discussed," Herzog said.
Biden attempted to renegotiate Iran's readmission to the Iran nuclear deal after then-President Donald Trump withdrew from it in 2018. The White House announced last week that it had abandoned diplomacy for the time being and that Tehran had sent drones to Russia for use in its conflict against Ukraine.
The Iran nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached in July 2015 by Iran and numerous international countries, including the U.S. In exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, Iran pledged to dismantle much of its nuclear program and open its sites to more thorough foreign inspections.
The agreement, though, has been at risk ever since Trump pulled the U.S. from it in 2018. Iran has resumed some of its nuclear activities in retribution for the U.S. leaving and for deadly assaults in 2020, one of which was carried out by the U.S.
Biden stated in 2021 that if Iran resumed compliance with the agreement, the United States would rejoin it.
Biden mentioned that Israel and Lebanon would sign a maritime agreement to draw a permanent border on Thursday. The arrangement was negotiated with help from the U.S.
"I think it's a historic breakthrough. It took a lot of courage for you to step up and step into it, and it took some real guts, and I think it took principle and persistent diplomacy to get it done," Biden said.
Herzog arrived in Washington for a two-day visit on Tuesday. He has met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the United States House of Representatives, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, among others.