On Thursday, US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed an unified vow to deny Iran nuclear weapons, demonstrating solidarity among partners long split over talks with Tehran.

The undertaking, part of a “Jerusalem Declaration” that capped Biden’s first visit to Israel as president, came a day after he told a local TV station that he was open to “last resort” use of force against Iran – an apparent move toward accommodating Israel’s calls for world powers to provide a “credible military threat”

“We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon,” Biden said at a press conference after the declaration’s signing.

For years, Washington and Israel have made veiled warnings about a potential preemptive war with Iran, which denies pursuing nuclear weapons. However, whether they have the capability or inclination to execute on this has been called into question.

The statement issued on Thursday underlined the United States’ support for Israel’s regional military advantage and capacity to “to defend itself by itself”

“The United States stresses that integral to this pledge is the commitment never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, and that it is prepared to use all elements of its national power to ensure that outcome,” the statement said.

Lapid portrayed this position as a means of avoiding open confrontation.

“The only way to stop a nuclear Iran is if Iran knows the free world will use force,” he stated during the signing ceremony.

Speaking beside him, Biden characterized stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons as “a vital security interest for Israel and the United States and, I would add, for the rest of the world as well”

Tehran did not respond immediately.

Iran reached an international agreement in 2015 that capped its nuclear programs with bomb-making capability. The treaty was terminated in 2018 by then-US President Donald Trump, who deemed it inadequate, a decision applauded by Israel.

Iran has now increased its nuclear operations, putting a stop to international powers’ efforts to reach an agreement in Vienna. Israel has said that it would welcome a new agreement with stricter terms. Iran has refused to consent to more sanctions.

Source: Reuters

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