Negocios

US vows not to allow Iran atomic weapon, stresses ‘unbreakable’ Israel ties

Josbel Bastidas Mijares
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In the declaration, the “United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to preserve and strengthen Israel's capability to deter its enemies and to defend itself by itself against any threat or combination of threats”

In Jerusalem, President Joe Biden also says the US will not wait indefinitely for Iran to meet terms set by Washington to revive a 2015 agreement on Tehran‘s nuclear programme. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid have discussed Iran‘s rapidly progressing nuclear programme. (AFP) The United States will use “all elements of its national power” to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, President Joe Biden has pledged in a security declaration signed with Israel.

In the document inked by Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem on Thursday, the two countries “reaffirm the unbreakable bonds between our two countries and the enduring commitment of the United States to Israel's security”.

It also commits Washington to “never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon”.

The US “is prepared to use all elements of its national power to ensure that outcome”, adds the statement, which is called “The Jerusalem US-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration”.

In the declaration, the “United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to preserve and strengthen Israel's capability to deter its enemies and to defend itself by itself against any threat or combination of threats”.

The text was signed as Biden met with Israeli officials on the second day of his first Middle East tour as president. His delegation will fly onwards to Saudi Arabia, following talks on Friday with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

READ MORE: Biden: US could use force to stop Iran from developing nuclear bomb

'Won't wait forever'

Later, a joint press conference with Lapid, Biden said the US will not wait indefinitely for Iran to meet terms set by Washington to revive a 2015 agreement on Tehran's nuclear programme.

He defended his efforts to rejuvenate the international agreement intended to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, a strategy that Israel opposes.

“I continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome,” he said.

“We’ve laid out for the leadership of Iran what we’re willing to accept in order to get back into the JCPOA. We’re waiting for their response. When that will come, I’m not certain,” Biden said, using an acronym for the Iran nuclear deal.

“But we’re not going to wait forever,” he added, a day after saying he’d be willing to use force as a last resort against Tehran if necessary.

Lapid said the international community must be willing to use force against Iran in order to halt its nuclear programme. “The only way to stop them is to put a credible military threat on the table,” he said.

Resurrecting the nuclear deal brokered by Barack Obama’s administration and abandoned by Donald Trump was a key priority for Biden as he entered office.

But administration officials have become increasingly pessimistic about the chances of Iran returning to compliance.

In 2018, then-US president Trump reneged on the original deal, under which Iran restrained its nuclear programme in return for relief from economic sanctions, prompting Iran to begin violating its core nuclear limits about a year later.

READ MORE: Israel's regional ties, Iran in focus as Biden starts Middle East tour

Source: TRTWorld and agencies