WASHINGTON - President Isaac Herzog is expected to present US President Joe Biden with evidence that Iranian drones are being used against Ukrainian civilians as part of Russia's war in Ukraine.
Herzog arrived in Washington on Tuesday morning, ahead of the meeting with Biden.
According to Herzog’s office, through a visual analysis, the Israeli defense establishment “has established that there are UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] fragments in Ukraine that are identical to those developed in Iran.”
“President Herzog will present US government officials with images of Shahed-136 exploding UAVs prepared for a launch in a military exercise in Iran in December 2021. Another photo shows the same type of drone downed during the fighting in Ukraine,” Herzog’s office said in a statement.
“Despite Iranian denials and attempts to obscure their Iranian origins by adding Russian stamps, the photos show that the drone stabilizers are identical in their structure, dimensions, and numbering,” the statement reads.
“Yet again, Iran has proven that it cannot be trusted and wherever there is killing, destruction, and hatred—it’s there,” President Herzog said. “Iranian weapons play a key role in destabilizing our world, and the international community must learn its lessons, now and in the future.”
He went on to say that the world must speak with Iran in the same language: “a tough, united, and uncompromising language. As we are repeatedly discovering, for every hesitation about Iran—there is a price. In recent months, the Iranian regime has shown the world its true colors, which Israel has known for years. Nobody can ignore that the Iranian regime uses violence against its own citizens and is brutally suppressing the hijab protests with blatant human rights violations.”
Herzog began his official visit by meeting with US Senior Advisor for Energy Security Amos Hochstein, the Biden administration's mediator for Israeli-Lebanese talks on the maritime boundary issue.
"The President and [Senior Advisor] Hochstein discussed the details of the deal, its terms, and its implications for regional stability," Herzog’s statement said. "President Herzog thanked Hochstein for his assistance in advancing the deal."
Herzog meets with Jewish leaders
Herzog also met with dozens of Jewish leaders, reassuring them that the strong bond between the countries will not be affected by the upcoming elections in Israel or the midterm elections in the US. Leaders from The American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith, the Jewish Democratic Council of America, the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Conference of Presidents and the American Zionist Movement were among those who attended the meeting.
“You have midterm elections; We have elections next week. I think one thing should transcend: both the friendship and close bond between Israel and the United States is unbreakable,” Herzog told the leaders. “And it is a value which we must all cherish and work for.”
“And it is a value which we must all cherish and work for. We should both respect each other’s democracies, and we should respect the fact that Israelis will go next week to vote and make their decisions. And we should, of course, respect Americans who are going to vote in two weeks,” he continued. “I know that there will be, of course, discussions about the outcome of each of that one’s respective elections. But first, the underlying rule should be that we honor and respect
“The fact that we can all meet together brothers and sisters means a lot to me personally,” Herzog told the Jewish leaders. “As you know, I'm hardly devoted to the cause of the Jewish people worldwide and their connection and bonds with the state of Israel.”
In a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Herzog said the relationship between Israel and the United States was “the strongest ever.”He thanked Blinken for mediating the maritime boundary deal with Lebanon, and for his support for Israel in international forums. “We will be discussing the challenges that Iran poses to us and to humanity at large,” said Herzog. “Our hearts go out to the people of Iran, the women of Iran who are oppressed and attacked day in and day out. I will be exposing more of the fact that Iranian weapons are used against innocent civilians in Ukraine. We will discuss the integration of Israel in the region, your support of the implementation of the Abraham Accords, as well as the potential openings for Israel in the region in so many facets.”Blinken told Herzog that his visit was “simply a powerful symbol of the enduring partnership between Israel and the United States, a partnership that President Biden has been committed to since his very first days in the public service.”Blinken praised the cooperation between the countries and referred to the demarcation agreement with Lebanon as “truly historic.” He spoke about the need to “expand the Abraham Accords” to additional countries and noted the importance of the Negev Summit in promoting the agreements.Regarding Iran, Blinken said the two countries are “standing together against the dangerous, destabilizing and terrorizing actions that Iran is taking in the region and well beyond the region, [including] the provision of drones by Iran to Russia to enable it further aggression against Ukraine and its people.” He added that he was looking forward to discussing with Herzog the current situation in the West Bank.