1 of 5 | U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu make statements to the media after their meeting at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem on Monday. Photo by Debbie Hill/ UPI | License Photo
Jan. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with newly-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem Monday, where the two showed a united front in keeping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
"Our policy, and my policy, is to do everything within Israel's power to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. And that will remain so," Netanyahu said during their official meeting.
"But obviously, the fact that we and the United States are working together is something that is important for this common goal, as well ... I would say most of the international community -- have seen the true face of Iran. They've seen the barbarism of this regime against its own people. They've seen how it exports aggression beyond its border and beyond the Middle East, and I think there is a common consensus that this regime must not acquire nuclear weapons."
Blinken, who also met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog on the trip, concurred on the nuclear front.
"We agree that Iran must never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon, and we discussed deepening cooperation to confront and counter Iran's destabilizing activities in the region and beyond. Just as Iran has long supported terrorists that attack Israelis and others, the regime is now providing drones that Russia is using to kill innocent Ukrainian civilians," Blinken said, according to the State Department
The two met amid an uptick in violence in Israel, as clashes intensified between the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinians.
Pope Francis Sunday criticized both sides for dozens of deaths since the start of the year, including a recent IDF raid into Palestinian territory that left 10 people dead.
Israeli police Sunday moved to seal off the home of a Palestinian man accused of killing seven people during a shooting at an East Jerusalem synagogue Friday.
"In the context of this attack and escalating violence, it's important that the Government and people of Israel know America's commitment to their security remains ironclad. That commitment is backed up by nearly 75 years of United States support," Blinken said, according to the State Department.
"America's commitment has never wavered. It never will. And today the prime minister and I discussed ways that we can continue to strengthen our partnership and our shared security interests."
Last week, U.S. federal prosecutors unsealed charges against three men accused in a murder-for-hire plot targeting journalist and Iranian dissident Masih Alinejad at her home last July. Alinejad lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. The three men are members of an Eastern European crime group and are believed to have been hired by the Iranian regime.