Biden says US would use force as ‘last resort’ to prevent Iranian nuclear weapons
As Joe Biden visits the Middle East, a new US intelligence report has warned that the Iranian military may be planning to assassinate high-ranking Trump administration officials – including the ex-president himself – in revenge for the US’s 2020 killing of Qasem Soleimani.
Mr Biden, meanwhile, is in Israel for talks at the start of his first Middle East trip. Israeli President Isaac Herzog welcomed Mr Biden at Ben Gurion International Airport on his “journey of peace” to the region.
After a defence briefing, Mr Biden met with Holocaust survivors at the Yad Vashem museum and was seen wiping away tears after a solemn ceremony. Later, in an interview with Israeli television, the president said that US would use force as a “last resort” to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
Mr Biden will later travel to Saudi Arabia with the goal “to reorient — but not rupture” the US relationship with Riyadh and take a tougher stance toward the kingdom, while also hoping to build on the Abraham Accords between Israel and the Gulf states.
I2U2: India, Israel, UAE, and US convene first leaders meeting
As part of US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, he and Prime Minister Yair Lapid were joined via video conference by their Indian and Emirati counterparts — Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The group, named I2U2, is seen as a companion project to the Quad — Australia, India, Japan, and the US — as a way of countering China’s influence across the Middle East and South Asia.
In the group’s first joint statement, the four leaders said: This unique grouping of countries aims to harness the vibrancy of our societies and entrepreneurial spirit to tackle some of the greatest challenges confronting our world, with a particular focus on joint investments and new initiatives in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security.
Oliver O’Connell14 July 2022 14:08
Watch: Biden’s remarks on Iran
Oliver O’Connell14 July 2022 13:40
Biden: US ‘not going to wait forever’ for Iran to reenter nuclear agreement
US President Joe Biden on Thursday warned that the negotiations meant to bring Iran back into the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement cannot be allowed to drag on indefinitely.
Speaking at a press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Mr Biden was asked if he’d set a deadline for when he might walk away from the talks, which the US is hoping will re-start the agreement which former president Donald Trump walked away from in 2018.
“We’ve laid out for the people for the leadership of Iran, what we’re willing to accept in order to get back to the JCPOA,” Mr Biden said. “We’re waiting for the response. When that will come, I’m not certain. But we are not going to wait forever”.
Biden says US ‘not going to wait forever’ for Iran to reenter nuclear agreement
Mr Biden says curbing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions is ‘a vital security interest to both Israel and the United States and … the rest of the world’
Oliver O’Connell14 July 2022 13:28
Biden asked about raising Khashoggi murder with Saudis
Asked about bringing up the murder of Jamal Khashoggi with the Saudi leadership, President Biden does not commit to directly raising the topic but notes his “I always bring up human rights. I always bring up human rights. but my position on Khashoggi has been so clear, if anyone doesn’t understand it in Saudi Arabia or anywhere else, then they haven’t been around for a while.”
Oliver O’Connell14 July 2022 13:26
Biden praises progress of the Abraham Accords
President Biden also praised the Abraham Accords, brought about by the efforts of the previous administration, and reaffirmed the US’s commitment to building on them.
“Tomorrow I’ll be the first American president to fly from Israel directly to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. That represents important progress.”
“When I see the Saudi leadership tomorrow, I’ll be carrying a direct message,” the president says, adding it will be a message of peace and extraordinary opportunities in a more stable region.
Oliver O’Connell14 July 2022 13:23
Biden’s emphasises return to diplomacy with Iran
In his remarks, President Joe Biden says that while Iran must never acquire a nuclear weapon, he continues to believe diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome, even as he vows to help Israel counter Iranian terrorism and ballistic missiles.
He continues by saying that as Israel and the US move forward together, partners in both security and innovation, their defence sectors will cooperate and the new high-energy laser weapon systems that can defend Israel — the Iron Beam.
On the Iran nuclear deal, Mr Biden says: “We are not going to wait forever.”
Oliver O’Connell14 July 2022 13:21
Lapid reaches out to America’s Gulf partners
Prime Minister Lapid reaches out to the leaders of America’s Gulf allies, with whom President Biden will meet this weekend.
“I would like you to pass them all a message from us: Our hand is outstretched for peace. We are ready to share our technology and experience, ready for our people to meet and learn about one another, ready for our scientists to collaborate and our businesses to cooperate.”
Oliver O’Connell14 July 2022 13:15
Lapid does not mince words on Iran
Prime Minister Lapid says to President Biden on Iran that he has said many times that “big countries do not bluff”, and that he completely agrees and that on Iran their words should not be a bluff, but the real thing, adding that the Iranian regime must know that if they continue to deceive the world, they will pay a heavy price.
““They want to destroy the only Jewish state in the world. We will never let that happen. Words will not stop them. Diplomacy will not stop them,” he says. “The only way to stop them is to put a credible military threat on the table.”
Oliver O’Connell14 July 2022 13:13
Biden and Lapid sign joint declaration
President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid have signed a joint declaration affirming bonds between counties, security support, and efforts to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with the United States pledging to use “all elements of its national power to ensure that outcome”.
Oliver O’Connell14 July 2022 13:10
US intelligence report says Iran may try to assassinate Trump and others
As Joe Biden reiterates that “the only thing worse than the Iran that exists now is the Iran with nuclear weapons”, a shocking story from Yahoo News relays a US intelligence report that warns of potential assassination threats from Iran against top Trump administration officials, including the ex-president himself.
“The Iranian regime is waging a multipronged campaign — including threats of lethal action, international legal maneuvering, and the issuance of Iranian arrest warrants and sanctions — against select US officials to avenge the death of [Iranian Revolutionary Guard] Commander Soleimani in January 2020, raising the threat at home and abroad for those Iran views as responsible for the killing.”
Specifically singled out alongside Mr Trump are his former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and former CENTCOM Commander General Kenneth McKenzie.
Read the full report here.
Andrew Naughtie14 July 2022 12:17
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