Israel president gives US intel on Iran drones in Ukraine
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Israel's president said Tuesday he was sharing intelligence with the United States to prove Iran supplied Russian-operated drones that have reaped destruction in Ukraine, as he urged a tough response.
The United States and European Union have already reached a similar conclusion but Israel has been pushing for tough action against Iran's clerical state, which it views as its biggest threat.
President Isaac Herzog, who holds a largely ceremonial role, held talks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on a visit to Washington in which he will meet President Joe Biden on Wednesday.
"Iranian weapons play a key role in destabilizing our world, and the international community must learn its lessons, now and in the future," Herzog said.
"The world must speak with Iran in the same language -- a tough, united and uncompromising language."
Herzog's office in a statement said he would share images assessed by Israel that show similarities between drones downed in Ukraine and parts tested in Iran in December 2021 and displayed at an exposition in Iran in 2014.
Blinken, at the start of a meeting with Herzog, said the United States and Israel were "standing together against the dangerous, destabilizing and terrorizing actions that Iran is taking."
"The provision of drones by Iran to Russia to enable further aggression against Ukraine and Ukrainian people is showing horrific results on the ground in Ukraine," Blinken said.
The top US diplomat also weighed in on violence in the occupied West Bank, where major raids on Tuesday targeting a militant group killed six Palestinians, bringing thousands of mourners into the streets.
Blinken said he would speak to Herzog about "the real concern that we have about violence that we're seeing on the West Bank."
"We're urging everyone to take the necessary steps to try to de-escalate that violence and to avoid actions or statements that may incite it," Blinken said.
Herzog's visit comes days ahead of Israel's fifth election in less than four years in which hawkish ex-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had tense relations with Democratic US administrations, is seeking a comeback.