President Biden said Monday that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon while he is president.
“Today we’re going to be discussing a broad range of challenges, including Iran,” Biden told Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the start of a White House meeting. “What I can say to you,” Biden continued, “Iran will never get a nuclear weapon on my watch.”
Biden has been sharply criticized by Republicans for failing to be sufficiently supportive of Israel while it was run by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who recently stepped down. Biden has also been accused of being too accomodating toward Iran, seeking to join a nuclear deal from which Donald Trump had withdrawn.
“My commitment to Israel . . . is ironclad,” Biden told Rivlin. “This includes, we’re committed to unwavering commitment to your self-defense.”
Biden noted that he had directed airstrikes Sunday against Iranian-backed militia groups “responsible for the recent attack on the U.S. personnel in Iraq.”
Biden said he would host newly installed Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the White House “very soon.”
Amid the GOP criticism of Biden’s stance toward Israel, Rivlin said, “We need both the Israelis to understand that we have a great friend at the White House,” to which Biden replied, “You do.”
Rivlin said Israel has no greater ally than the United States because of the shared “values” between the two nations.