US, Israel Sign Joint Pledge to Deny Nuclear Weapons to Iran

By Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia. Contact him on
July 14, 2022Updated: July 15, 2022

U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a new joint declaration expanding the security relationship between the United States and Israel on July 14.

A senior White House official told reporters during a conference call that the pledge includes a renewed commitment to blocking Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“This declaration is pretty significant, and it includes a commitment to never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon and to address Iran’s destabilizing activities, particularly threats to Israel,” the senior White House official said.

The joint pledge notes the ongoing U.S. and Israeli support for a memorandum of understanding that was finalized while Biden was serving as vice president under former President Barack Obama.

“The declaration will also emphasize support for the Abraham Accords and expanding Israel’s integration into the region, which, of course, is a theme of this trip,” the official said. “And it will reiterate our shared concerns about a number of global challenges, from food security to the situation in Ukraine and, of course, support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Iran Nuclear Deal

In an interview with Israeli media, which was recorded before he left Washington on July 12 but aired on July 13, Biden said he would keep Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list even if doing so killed off the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as he began a trip to the Middle East.

Asked if his past statements that he would prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon meant that he would use force against Iran, Biden said: “If that was the last resort, yes.

“The only thing worse than the Iran that exists now is an Iran with nuclear weapons.”

Biden’s 1st Visit to Middle East as President

Biden arrived in Israel on July 13 on his first Middle East trip as president, but his 10th visit to the region overall.

At the airport, Biden was briefed by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Israel’s Iron Dome defense system and a new technology called Iron Beam, which uses lasers and is being developed in conjunction with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

The United States has provided Israel with $4.8 billion for its security, which includes $1 billion for replenishing Iron Dome after the May 2021 conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

The president later laid a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and met with Holocaust survivors.

Epoch Times Photo
U.S. President Joe Biden embraces Holocaust survivor Giselle Cycowicz during a ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem on July 13, 2022. (Debbie Hill/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

On July 14, Biden met with Lapid for a bilateral meeting ahead of the announcement of the joint declaration. He was then scheduled to meet with Israeli President Isaac Herzog at his residence to discuss Herzog’s recent visits to Jordan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The two countries will also launch a new high-level strategic dialogue on technology in a bid to boost cooperation in four key areas. The four fields are technology to help with future pandemic preparedness, using technology to affect the climate, “artificial technology,” and “other trusted technology ecosystems.”

“We want their tech sector to be connected with ours and looking west as we look to build the technology apparatus for the future,” the senior White House official said.

Biden will also take part in the first I2U2 virtual summit with the leaders of Israel, India, and the UAE, which will be focused on food security and advancing clean energy, and visit with athletes attending the Maccabiah Games.

East Jerusalem Controversy

On July 15, the president will visit the West Bank and East Jerusalem and announce Palestinian economic opportunities, including the development of 4G capabilities in both Gaza and the West Bank.

This would mark the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to East Jerusalem, in a move that has been met with some concern, including from six Republicans and Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, who urged Biden not to go.

“The affirmation will only serve to encourage the unwavering rejection of Israel by the PA, which continues to refuse to accept the existence of the Jewish State of Israel,” Danon wrote in Israel Today. “Considering the fragile state of affairs in Israel and the Middle East, and recent heightened tensions, a visit to eastern Jerusalem will undoubtedly damage peace prospects rather than encourage them. I would therefore urge you, President Biden, to kindly refrain from this unprecedented visit to eastern Jerusalem.”

On July 13, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby had to walk back remarks made by U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan to reporters on Air Force One after Sullivan said the Biden administration wants the Palestinians to have a consulate in East Jerusalem.

After Israel, Biden will travel to Saudi Arabia on July 16 to discuss the energy crisis and hold talks with other Gulf allies in Jeddah.

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