There will be no nuclear Iran on my watch, Biden vows
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There will be no nuclear Iran on my watch, Biden vows

US president promises Tehran will not acquire nuclear weapons amid Israeli angst about reviving the nuclear deal

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

Joe Biden used Reuven Rivlin’s farewell tour to assure Israelis anxious about his plans to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal that he would never tolerate Tehran acquiring nuclear weapons.

In brief remarks at the White House before their meeting on Monday evening the US president told his Israeli counterpart, who leaves office next month, that Iran “will never get a nuclear weapon on my watch”.

He also noted that he had ordered airstrikes on Sunday against an Iranian-backed militia operating near the Iraqi-Syrian border.

Asked by a reporter when he planned to visit Israel, Biden said: “I don’t have a date but I will.”

Rivlin described the US as “our best friends and the bonds between the people of Israel and the people of America have always been based on the understanding that we share values of democracy and liberalism.

“Because of that,” he added, “we may from time to time hold discussions on issues on which we do not agree.”

Biden’s administration is working to revive the 2015 nuclear deal signed during Barack Obama’s presidency.

The arrangement reduced sanctions against Iran in exchange for greater international monitoring of its nuclear activities, which the government in Tehran has always claimed is civilian.

Donald Trump withdrew from the arrangement in 2018, with strong backing from then-Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Rivlin is due to leave the presidency and hand over to Isaac Herzog on July 7.

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