Tags: biden | iran | nuclear | weapon

Biden: Obama ‘Not Bluffing’ on Iran

Monday, 04 Mar 2013 12:38 PM

By David Yonkman, Washington Correspondent

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Vice President Joe Biden said Monday the United States is committed to preventing — not containing — Iran from launching a nuclear weapon.

“Big nations cannot bluff, and presidents of the United States cannot and do not bluff, and President [Barack] Obama is not bluffing,” he said. “All options, including military force, are on the table.”

Speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference, Biden said there is still time for diplomacy to work with Iran but the window is closing.

He said when the history is written on Iran, it will show that “we did everything in our power, we did everything that can reasonably be expected, to avoid confrontation. We are shaping the choice that the Iranian leadership has to make.”

Biden also discussed the situation in Syria, in which the United States and Israel have a shared interest in the outcome.

“Our position on that tragedy cannot be clearer,” he said. “[Bashar al-Assad] must go.”

The challenge, he said, is to carefully vet the opposition to prevent one despotic regime from replacing another. The other challenge confronting the U.S.-Israeli alliance is drawing a clear red line in preventing Syrian chemical weapons from getting into the hands of jihadists, such as Hezbollah and al-Qaida.

In addition, Biden said Obama plans to address the Israeli-Palestinian peace process with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he visits Israel for the first time in March.

“It takes two to tango,” the vice president said. “We are under no illusions on how difficult it will be to achieve."

Biden’s made his remarks on the same day a new poll was released by The Hill newspaper showing that three times more likely voters believe the White House is not being supportive enough of Israel compared to those who believe the administration is too supportive.

The poll found 39 percent of respondents said Obama does not support Israel enough compared to 13 percent who said his policies are too supportive. A slightly larger percentage, 30 percent to 28 percent, said Obama is more anti-Israel than pro-Israel.

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