Biden Vows Iran Will Not Get Nuclear Weapons In Meeting With Israeli President
June 29, 2021
U.S. President Joe Biden assured Israel on June 28 that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon, as he met with outgoing Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the White House.
"What I can say to you is that Iran will never get a nuclear weapon on my watch," Biden said at the start of a meeting in the Oval Office.
The meeting with Rivlin, who is set to leave the largely ceremonial post on July 7 after a seven-year term, took place after Naftali Bennett earlier this month became Israel's new prime minister, replacing Benjamin Netanyahu.
Biden said he hoped to meet the new prime minister at the White House "very soon."
Rivlin told reporters that he was "very much satisfied" by Biden's comments on Iran.
Iran and the United States have been holding indirect talks in Vienna on reviving the 2015 agreement between Tehran and six powers that imposed restrictions on Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for lifting international sanctions.
Former President Donald Trump trashed the accord in 2018, in a move backed by Netanyahu.
Tehran reacted to the reimposition of sanctions by gradually reducing its nuclear commitments under the deal.
The meeting with Rivlin comes one day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken held his first meeting with Israel's new Foreign Minister Yair Lapid while the two were in Rome.
Lapid, a centrist who along with Bennett and six other political allies built a fragile coalition government, said Israel had some "serious reservations" about the Iran deal that is being discussed in Vienna.
Based on reporting by AFP and AP
Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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