If diplomacy with Iran fails, the US, echoing Israel, suggests using force.
If diplomacy fails to resolve Iran’s nuclear program, US President Joe Biden’s administration warned Wednesday that force may be used, rallying more closely than ever behind Israel’s threats.
While holding three-way meetings with the senior diplomats of Israel and the United Arab Emirates, US allies who forged relations last year under shared anxiety over Tehran, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed rising dissatisfaction amid a standstill in negotiations with Iran.
Blinken reaffirmed Biden’s invitation to re-enter a 2015 nuclear accord, which Iran dramatically reduced nuclear activity in exchange for unmet promises of sanctions relief, which was slammed by former President Donald Trump.
At a joint news conference, Blinken said, “We continue to believe that diplomacy is the most successful method.”
“However, diplomacy takes two, and we have not seen Iran’s desire to do so at this time,” he said.
“If Iran does not alter direction, we are prepared to pursue further options,” he threatened.
“I think everybody understands — here in Israel, in the Emirates, and in Tehran — what it is that we mean,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said of Blinken’s words, without being disputed.
As sons of Holocaust survivors, both Lapid and Blinken “know there are periods when nations must use force to safeguard the world from evil,” Lapid said.
“We must intervene if a terrorist government obtains a nuclear weapon. We must make it obvious that the civilized world will not tolerate it “Lapid said.
“Israel reserves the right to act in any way it sees fit at any time. This is not only our right, but also our obligation.” On Thursday, Enrique Mora, the EU envoy in charge of reviving the dormant agreement, is to visit Tehran. He promised to “increase the urgency” of resuming negotiations in a tweet.
Six rounds of indirect negotiations with Iran were held by the Biden administration, with Mora shuttled between the two sides in Vienna hotels, but talks were suspended in June when ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi took over as Iran’s president.
At the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, US negotiator on Iran Rob Malley said, “We feel like coming back would still be the best outcome, but we’re pragmatic.”
“We know there’s at least a decent chance Iran will choose a different road,” he said, adding that “we need to work with Israel and our other regional friends.”
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