Biden: US Won’t Stop Israel From Bombing Iran

July 6, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Vice President Joe Biden, appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” on Sunday made some remarks on U.S. policy towards Israel and Iran, that raised some eyebrows, noting the Israel is a sovereign nation that can’t be dictated to by the U.S. and that if the nation perceives a threat and decides to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, that is their right.

Biden was pressed to provide an indication of U.S. policy towards the possibility of Israel bombing Iran and he responded by stressing the fact that Israel was an independent sovereign nation that has the right to protect itself from attacks as all nations do. “Look, we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do,” said Biden.

Israel can decide “…what’s in their interest relative to Iran and anyone else,” added Biden. The Vice President refused to speculate beyond that, with George Stephanopoulos pressing further suggesting that the U.S. had the power to block Iraqi air space from the Israelis for an attack against Iran.

Biden’s remarks caused a ripple of controversy on Sunday as media pundits wondered if his statements signaled a change in administration policy regarding an Israeli strike against Iran.

Iran has made statements saying it was devoted to destroying the State of Israel and any nuclear weapons of Iran’s could easily reach Israel. Iran claims its nuclear facilities are used for domestic peaceful purposes and not for making weapons.

Biden also stated during his interview that the Obama administration remains committed to speaking with Iranian leaders in direct negotiations if they respond to U.S. overtures.

Both President Obama and Joint Chiefs chairman Mullen, are deeply concerned of the dangerous destabilizing effect a nuclear-armed Iran would have on the Middle East, setting off an arms race in the region.

Mullen made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows as well, appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” referring to an Israel strike against Iran as destabilizing, while also noting, “I’m one that thinks Iran should not have nuclear weapons. I think that’s very destabilizing.”

The Middle East is one of the most volatile regions in the world and the notion of an Israeli air strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, especially at a time when the Islamic nation is embroiled in political unrest with citizens revolting against the election results, is one of concern.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor stated that Biden’s remarks didn’t indicate a change in U.S. policy towards Israel nor Iran. “Our friends and allies, including Israel, know that the president believes that now is the time to explore direct diplomatic options,” said Vietor.

Israel stated position is that of supporting negotiations with Iran, but its not ruling out a strike against the Islamic nation.

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