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Biden: If diplomacy fails with Iran, we have other options

CM 27/08/2021 2

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WASHINGTON – The US will consider options other than diplomacy if necessary to ensure Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon, US President Joe Biden said, following his meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the White House on Friday. 
“We are going to discuss the threat from Iran and our commitment to ensure Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. We’re putting diplomacy first and seeing where that takes us. But if diplomacy fails, we’re ready to turn to other options,” Biden said. 
The president’s remarks come at a time when Iran is refusing to return to negotiations with the US to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, meant to restrict its uranium enrichment, while Iran has advanced its development of a nuclear weapon to about two months from breakout. 
Bennett thanked Biden for saying Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon, which was something his advisers said he had hoped to hear coming into the meeting.
“These very days illustrate what the world would look like if a radical Islamic regime acquired a nuclear weapon; that marriage would be a nuclear nightmare for the entire world,” Bennett said. “Iran is the world’s number one exporter of terror, instability and human rights violations. And as we sit here right now, the Iranians are spinning their centrifuges in Natanz and Fordo. We’ve got to stop it. And we both agreed.”
Bennett said the leaders and their staff will discuss ways to roll back Iran’s regional aggression and permanently keep it from breaking out to a nuclear weapon. 
Biden expressed his “unwavering, unwavering commitment that we have in the United States to Israel’s security. And I fully, fully, fully support replenishing Israel’s Iron Dome system,” he said. 
The US will work to bring “value added” to encourage the trend of Israel’s nascent ties with Arab and Muslim states,the president added. 
When it comes to the Palestinians, Biden only said: “We also are going to discuss ways to advance peace and security and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians.” 
The president also said he will direct his staff to work on a visa waiver program between Israel and the US, which Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced after his meeting with Bennett on Wednesday. 
Biden praised the new Israeli government as “the most diverse in Israel’s history.”
Biden and Bennett met one-on-one for 45 minutes, before giving a statement to the press. Biden said that they had become good friends and that Bennett was very familiar with the Amtrak train route Biden would take to Washington from Delaware as a senator.
Bennett opened his remarks by expressing his condolences following the deadly ISIS attack on the Kabul airport, which killed over 10 American. 
“Those Americans lost their lives on a mission to save others’ lives. That is the definition of courage and sacrifice,” Bennett said. 
Bennett added that “Israel will always stand by the US. We trust your support. Israel knows we will never have a better and more trusted ally in the world other than the US.”
US President Joe Biden and Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chat during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, US (credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)US President Joe Biden and Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chat during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, US (credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
The prime minister went back to his much-repeated theme that he is bringing a “new spirit” from Jerusalem, of goodwill, cooperation, unity and the ability to work together for shared goals despite differences of opinion. 
The new coalition wants to do good, but “in the Middle East, it’s not enough to be good. If we want to do good, we have to be strong,” Bennett stated.
“We can’t lose sight for a moment of the fact we are in the toughest neighborhood in the world,” he added, listing the many terrorist groups on Israel’s borders. “This is why we have to be stronger than all of our enemies combined.” 
Bennett also said Israel has and never will ask American troops to defend Israel.
“That’s our job. We will never outsource our security. It’s our responsibility to take care of our fate. But we do thank you for the tools and the back you’ve been giving us and you’re giving us,” he stated. 
The leaders also discussed the COVID-19 vaccination efforts, including the booster shot for the Pfizer vaccine. 
Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield, White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk, Interim Ambassador to Israel Michael Ratney and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Barbara Leaf took part in the second part of the meeting with Bennett and Biden. The Israeli attendees were National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata, Cabinet Secretary Shalom Shlomo, Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Tal Gan-Zvi, Military Security Avi Gil, Ambassador to the US and UN Gilad Erdan, and Bennett’s Diplomatic Adviser Shimrit Meir.
Bennett and Biden spoke on the phone on Thursday night. 
Biden thanked Bennett for his willingness to postpone their meeting following the events in Afghanistan, and said he looks forward to meeting him. 
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the Willard Hotel in Washington. (credit: REUTERS)US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the Willard Hotel in Washington. (credit: REUTERS)
Following the delay, Bennett and his delegation will remain in Washington until after Shabbat, departing for Israel on Saturday night. 
Bennett’s visit to Washington was finalized days after the Afghanistan pullout crisis began. His staff and Biden administration officials said the timing was important due to developments on the Iranian nuclear front. However, the crisis in Kabul overshadowed the trip from its start on Tuesday.
The prime minister met with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Wednesday. 
Half an hour before the meeting with Biden on Friday, Bennett participated via video conference in a memorial for his father, Jim Bennett, who died 6 years ago.


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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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