The comments came in an Oval Office meeting with Israel’s outgoing president and after the U.S. launched airstrikes on Iranian-linked facilities.
By November 2020, Iran had surpassed previous limits on low-enriched uranium, according to the United Nations nuclear watchdog.
Rivlin is the first high-ranking Israeli official to meet with Biden at the White House, and will meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders before he leaves office in early July. Biden said he planned to soon host the new Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, who took office earlier this month.
The Israeli Parliament on June 13 narrowly approved a new coalition government in a 60-59 vote, ousting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a historic 12 years of leadership. The vote marked the end of a two-year cycle in which the country held four elections, with votes focused on Netanyahu’s fitness to remain prime minister as he faced corruption charges. Netanyahu’s critics have cast him as a polarizing leader who deepened divides in Israeli society, including tensions between Jews and Arabs.
Bennett now oversees the new fragile coalition, a patchwork of eight parties — with deep-seated ideological divisions — that could crumble if any members decided to depart. Bennett’s party holds just six seats out of 120 in Parliament.
Political centrist Yair Lapid, the main force behind the coalition, agreed with Bennett that he would rotate to take over as prime minister in two years — if the government still remains.
Biden was quick to congratulate the new government and said he looked forward to working with Bennett. He said the administration was committed to working with the new government to “advance security, stability, and peace for Israelis, Palestinians, and people throughout the broader region.”
Myah Ward contributed to this report.