U.S. Vice President Biden: No options off table on Iran nuclear program
Republican Jewish Coalition blasts Biden over comments suggesting previous U.S. administration shares blame for Iran nuclear program,
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden reaffirmed his commitment to Israel on Tuesday, saying that the U.S. takes “no options off the table” on Iran.
Speaking at the annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly (international body of about 1,600 Conservative rabbis) in Atlanta, Georgia, Biden said that the United States understands that the Israeli leadership sees Iran as an existential threat.
However, Biden stated that Israel should not “contract security” out to anyone, should it reach the conclusion that Iran is on the verge of obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Biden stated the U.S. takes "no options off table," telling the crowd that the “window has not closed to Israelis if they chose to act militarily,” but added that that window is closing in the near term for that the window is closing in the near term.
Biden also made statements suggestion the previous U.S. administration shared the blame for Iran's nuclear program. "When we took office, let me remind you, there was virtually no internationa pressure on Iran. We were the problem."
The vice president also reiterated his commitment to Israel, saying it is driven by “the overwhelming sense that there is a moral historic obligation to the State of Israel,” adding that Israel’s security is in the “fundamental national interest of the United States.”
Biden, who asked for a moment of silence to honor Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s late father Benzion, attempted to leverage his long-term relationship with the Jewish community in order to convince the audience that Obama is pro-Israel.
"No president since Truman has done more for security of Israel than Obama. Even Bibi called it unprecedented support," Biden said, adding that he would have never would never joined the administration had Obama not shared his views on Israel,” he added.
The Republican Jewish Coalition blasted Biden for some remarks that were made during his speech, calling the Vice President's remarks on Iran "outrageous."
"Iran was the problem then and it is the problem now. It's foolishly misguided for the Vice President to blame anyone, or any country, other than Iran," said the coalition.