NewsMiddle Eastthe United States "is not going to wait forever", says Joe Biden

    the United States “is not going to wait forever”, says Joe Biden

    Published on : 07/14/2022 – 12:11Modified : 07/14/2022 – 19:31

    The United States is “not going to wait forever” for Iran to reach a nuclear deal, President Joe Biden said Thursday at a joint press conference in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid. The latter signed the “Jerusalem Declaration on the Strategic Partnership between the United States and Israel”, devoted in part to the Iranian nuclear issue.

    Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid hold hands on the Iranian nuclear issue on the second day of the US President’s tour of the Middle East.

    “The United States is not going to wait forever” for Iran, Joe Biden told a joint press conference.

    The two leaders signed a joint declaration shortly before Thursday, under which the United States says it is ready to use “all elements of its national power” in order to prevent Iran from acquiring the weapon. atomic. The Americans do not use, until now, the expression “Declaration of Jerusalem” to evoke this text. But a senior White House official, who did not wish to be named, called the document “significant”.

    The attitude to adopt vis-à-vis Tehran is a source of hesitation between the United States, which would like to try the diplomatic route by resuscitating a 2015 agreement aimed at guaranteeing the civilian character of the Iranian nuclear program, and Israel, a follower hard line.

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    “A gigantic mistake”

    Considered by experts as the only nuclear power in the Middle East, Israel accuses Iran, its sworn enemy, of seeking to acquire the atomic bomb, which this country categorically denies.

    In 2018, under the Trump administration, the United States withdrew from the 2015 agreement and reinstated sanctions against Iran, pushing the latter to renege on some of its commitments dictated by this pact.

    “It was a gigantic mistake by the last president to pull out of the deal because they (the Iranians) are closer to atomic weapons today than they were before,” Joe Biden said in a statement. interview with the Israeli channel 12 aired Wednesday evening.

    Asked if he was ready to use force to ensure that Iran does not obtain atomic weapons, Joe Biden replied: “Yes, if it is a last resort”.

    But on Thursday, Joe Biden said he favored the diplomatic route against Tehran, while specifying that the United States was not going to “wait forever” for Iran to reach an agreement aimed at reviving the moribund pact of 2015, while negotiations are stalling.

    language of strength

    Israeli leaders have repeated in recent months that their country intends to retain its “freedom of action” against Iran even in the event of a nuclear agreement.

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    “The only thing that will stop Iran is knowing that if it continues to develop its nuclear program, the free world will use force. The only way to stop it is a credible military threat,” Yair Lapid said Thursday. during a press briefing with Joe Biden.

    However, in the “Jerusalem Declaration”, Washington undertakes “to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capacity to deter its enemies and to defend itself against any threat”.

    Israel fears, among other things, that a lifting of sanctions would replenish Iran’s coffers, which would allow it to increase its support for its regional allies such as the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas, pet peeves of the Jewish state.

    Joe Biden’s United States, which is trying to extend the process of normalization between Israel and Arab countries launched by Donald Trump, “commits to working with other partners in the face of Iranian aggression and destabilizing activities” , via for example Hezbollah, Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, according to the declaration.

    Hamas, in power in Gaza, this week “warned against expanding the normalization process” and denounced the visit of Joe Biden who “embodies the absolute support of the United States for the (Israeli) occupation”.

    The “Jerusalem Declaration” also stresses that the US and Israel will cooperate to develop laser defense systems to “defend Israel’s airspace”.

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    As soon as he arrived in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, the Israeli army presented Joe Biden with videos showing drone interceptions by the “Iron Beam”, a new laser anti-aircraft defense device.

    Aid to the Palestinians

    Joe Biden’s visit – his tenth in total, but his first as president – is for Washington to recall his influence in a region that has so far not been the priority of the Democratic administration, especially obsessed with China and Russia.

    Where almost all American administrations have directed many diplomatic efforts towards the Middle East, with great initiatives for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, that of Joe Biden has so far remained in the background.

    The president plans, according to a senior US official, to announce on Friday, during a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank, “significant” aid for hospitals in East Jerusalem, and a project to develop a 4G network in both the West Bank and Gaza.

    After Israel, Joe Biden is going to Saudi Arabia, Iran’s regional rival, on Friday afternoon.

    There, he could announce measures favoring a hypothetical normalization between the Saudi kingdom and Israel. And he should also convince this oil power to open the floodgates to calm prices.

    With AFP

    Source: France 24

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