US, Israeli leaders jointly pledge to 'deny Iran nuclear weaponry'
US President Joe Biden and Israeli PM Yair Lapid have signed the so-called "Jerusalem Declaration" for strategic partnership between the US and the Israeli entity.
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid committed to denying Iran nuclear weapons, demonstrating solidarity among allies long divided over dialogue with Tehran.
The undertaking, part of a "Jerusalem Declaration" that capped Biden's first visit to "Israel" as President, came after he told a local TV station that he was open to "last resort" use of force against Iran - an apparent move toward accommodating Israeli calls for world powers to provide a "credible military threat."
For years, Washington and "Israel" have made veiled warnings about a possible preemptive war with Iran, which denies seeking nuclear weapons.
The Declaration, issued to the public ahead of a formal signing ceremony on Thursday, emphasized the United States' unwaning support for "Israel's" regional military advantage and ability to "defend itself alone."
"The United States stresses that integral to this pledge is the commitment never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon and that it is prepared to use all elements of its national power to ensure that outcome," the statement added. There was no immediate comment from Tehran.
The 2015 nuclear agreement reached with Iran was unilaterally terminated in 2018 by then-US President Donald Trump, who deemed it insufficient, a decision, of course, welcomed by "Israel".
Now, "Israel" states that it would welcome a new agreement but with stricter terms, which Iran totally refuses, knowing that, throughout the nuclear talks, it called for ending the illegal, unjust sanctions due to their devastating effect on the Iranian people.
"The only thing worse than the Iran which exists now is an Iran with nuclear weapons and if we can return to the deal, we can restrict them," Biden told Israeli TV on Wednesday.
Biden claims he has pushed for a return to talks but said it was up to Iran to respond.
"We are not going to wait forever," he said.
Beyond enhancing the allies' mutual commitment, especially at the security level, Thursday's power-projection may also offer Biden a boost when he continues on to Saudi Arabia on Friday.
The declaration continued by saying the United States confirms the resolve to work with other partners to oppose what it described as "Iran's aggression and destabilizing activities," whether advanced directly or via "proxies" and organizations like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Biden told reporters he and Lapid had discussed how important it was "for Israel to be totally integrated into the region" Lapid, on his part, deemed Biden's Saudi trip "extremely important to Israel."
A US official, asked if Thursday's declaration was about buying some time with "Israel" as Washington pursues negotiations with Iran, said, "If Iran wants to sign the deal that has been negotiated in Vienna, we have made very clear we're prepared to do that. And, at the same time, if they're not, we will continue to increase our sanctions pressure, we will continue to increase Iran's diplomatic isolation."
Today, US President Joe Biden and Israeli occupation Prime Minister Yair Lapid will sign an accord that will see the two upping the commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and carrying out "destabilizing activities", a senior US administration official said.
The signing of the agreement will take place during Biden's visit to occupied Palestine, the first leg of his West Asia tour. He arrived at Al-Lydd's Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday, where he was received by high-ranking Israeli officials on his first official visit to occupied Palestine as President. He is scheduled to meet with Lapid and other senior Israeli officials on Thursday.
The tour will see the US leader try and mend ties with Saudi Arabia to persuade Riyadh and other Gulf allies to pump out more oil in the markets as the Biden administration faces mounting criticism over the soaring oil prices.
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