US President Joe Biden and the Prime Minister of Israel Yair Lapid made a united public statement on Thursday: they will not allow Iran to become a nuclear power.

Both believe diplomacy stayed the best route to prevent the country and its people from securing a nuke, despite Israeli disapproval of an agreement with the Islamic Republic. Biden made these statements in response to questions about whether or not the United States would allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

During a joint news conference with the Israeli leader after a one-on-one discussion, President Biden indicated that he still intends to give diplomacy a shot. A few moments before, Lapid argued that discourse would not block Tehran’s ambitions to develop nuclear weapons.

At a press conference held in Jerusalem, President Joe Biden, standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, stated, “This is a vital security interest to both Israel and the United States, and I would add for the rest of the world as well.”

“I continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome,” Biden said in a statement.

Even while President Biden has hinted that he is running out of patience with Iran, he has not given up hope that Iran may be convinced to re-enter an agreement to preclude it from developing nuclear weapons.

As he faces rising pressure from crucial Middle Eastern allies to provide a strategy to control Iran, Biden has pushed for a resuscitation of the Iran nuclear deal, which former President Donald Trump pulled the US from in 2018. Biden is doing this as he faces growing demand. The Israelis hosting Biden are opposed to a prospective nuclear deal with Iran, and the previous agreement with Iran was not well received in that country.

Construction of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Iran. (Source: own work, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

‘Words Will Not Stop Iran’

While the US President is adamant about confronting Iran during diplomatic discourse, the Israeli Prime Minister said otherwise. Instead, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid publicly asked President Joe Biden to consider using armed power against Iran to avert the country from continuously improving its nuclear program.

“Words will not stop them, Mr. President. Diplomacy will not stop them,” Lapid said.

“The only thing that will stop Iran is knowing that if they continue to develop their nuclear program, the free world will use force. The only way to stop them is to put a credible military threat on the table,” he expressed to Biden.

Even though Biden has been more aggressive with Iran, Lapid gave the impression that he and Biden were on the same page, the media report said.

Biden visited the Middle East, and during the first part of his trip, he had meetings with Israeli government officials. The ambitions of the Iranian government to create a nuclear weapon were the primary focus of the conversation. It is believed that these negotiations will carry on while President Biden is in Saudi Arabia, where he will arrive on Friday.

Since March, talks between Iranian, American, and European officials to try to resurrect the nuclear agreement from 2015, which the administration of former President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018, have been at a deadlock. On the other hand, the special envoy for Iran sent by the United States government, Robert Malley, traveled to Qatar at the start of this month to resume indirect conversations with the Iranian administration.

The Nuke Promise

Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri came to Bushehr to the broke ground on the second phase of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant. (Source: Tasnim News AgencyCC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

It will be remembered that Iran has vowed to develop a “peaceful” nuclear program at the height of the flak it received from various entities.

During a ceremony in Tehran to mark its National Nuclear Technology Day in April, senior Iranian officials committed to making progress on the “peaceful use” of their country’s nuclear program while they previewed several “achievements.” 

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Iran is actively embroiled in oblique bargaining with the US to reinstate the country’s nuclear deal from 2015 with other global powers. Despite Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program will only be utilized for “peaceful purposes,” the country is putting a more considerable emphasis on developing its nuclear program.

Iran’s enrichment of uranium was limited to 3.67 percent under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which also restricted Iran’s ability to use upgraded centrifuges and stockpiles of enriched uranium, a media report said.

Whether or not the US will remove the classification of “foreign terrorist organization” placed on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is the primary obstacle preventing a final deal from being reached.