Biden assures Israeli prime minister US won’t allow a nuclear Iran

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
President Biden shakes hands with Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid before his departure to Saudi Arabia from Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 15, 2022. On the right is Israel’s President Isaac Herzog.

President Biden sought to assure Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday that the U.S. would not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, as talks about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran show signs of progress.  

“The President underscored U.S. commitment to never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon,” the White House said in a readout of the call between the two leaders on Wednesday afternoon.  

“The President expressed appreciation for the warm reception during his July trip to Israel, a visit that illustrated the unbreakable bonds and friendship between our two countries,” the readout continued. “The President also emphasized the importance of concluding the maritime boundary negotiations between Israel and Lebanon in the coming weeks.”  

Lapid tweeted that the two leaders discussed threats from Iran’s nuclear program and Tehran’s support for terror groups, adding that the U.S. and Israel are “resolute in our shared commitment to prevent a nuclear Iran.”  

Israel has opposed a nuclear deal with Iran, and that difference of opinion between Biden and Lapid was on display when the president visited Israel last month

More recently, Lapid called the prospective agreement a “bad deal” and argued it would not, in fact, prevent a nuclear Iran.  

“The countries of the West draw a red line, the Iranians ignore it, and the red line moves,” Lapid said at a press conference last week, according to The Associated Press

After months of little progress, negotiations between world powers and Iran have picked up steam in recent weeks. The White House has voiced optimism, as Iran has dropped some key demands that had previously snarled hopes of reviving the 2015 deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  

Former President Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement in 2018. Biden vowed to rejoin the accord with Iran during his campaign, describing it as the best path to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  

The U.S. recently filed a response with European Union mediators and is still waiting to hear a reply from Iran and the EU, White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday.  

“We still remain hopeful that we can get a reimplementation of the JCPOA. We do believe we’re closer now than we have been in certain recent weeks and months due in large part to Iran being willing to drop some of their demands that were not related to the deal at all,” Kirby said. “So, we’re cautiously optimistic that things can continue to move in the right direction.” 


Tags Biden Biden administration iran nuclear deal Israel Yair Lapid
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