Joe Biden’s United States on Wednesday threatened to use the military option against Iran if diplomacy fails to prevent Tehran from acquiring atomic weapons, making it the first both clearly echo Israeli warnings.
Washington believes “that a diplomatic solution is the best way” to prevent the Islamic Republic from becoming a nuclear power, said US foreign minister Antony Blinken at a press conference with his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid in the capital of the United States.
But he expressed, more firmly than before, his impatience, at a time when the negotiations to save the international agreement of 2015 on Iranian nuclear power have still been suspended since June, while waiting for Tehran to agree to return to the table.
“Israel reserves the right to act at any time”
“It takes two to dialogue and we have not seen, at this stage, a willingness to do the same on the part of Iran”, lamented the Secretary of State, once again estimating that the ” window of fire ”to return to the agreement was“ more and more restricted ”. “We are ready to turn to other options if Iran does not change direction,” he warned when questioned about the possibility of the use of force. “We will consider all options. “
At his side, the Israeli minister has driven the point home, without being contradicted. “By saying + other options +, I think everyone understands,” he said. Yaïr Lapid has also been even more explicit on behalf of the Hebrew state, long opposed to the 2015 agreement which it considers insufficient. “Secretary of State Blinken and I are children of Holocaust survivors. We know there are times when nations must use force to protect the world from evil, ”he said. “Israel reserves the right to act at any time, and whatever the means”, he insisted.
The Israeli foreign minister had come to Washington with the intention of calling on the Biden government for an “alternative plan B” in the event of diplomatic failure. And more and more, Americans are talking openly about the need to develop such options. “We are realists. We know there is at least a strong possibility that Iran will choose another path, and we need to coordinate with Israel and with our other partners in the region, ”US Iranian envoy Rob said on Wednesday. Malley.
Biden ready to return to the deal
The American negotiator announced that he would visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in the coming days to discuss these two possibilities: the “efforts to return” to the agreement but also “what options we have to control Iran’s nuclear program if we fail to do so ”.
Former US President Donald Trump slammed the door in 2018 on this agreement between Iran and the great powers, and reinstated the US sanctions it had allowed to be lifted. In return, Tehran has increasingly freed itself from nuclear restrictions. President Biden said he was ready to return to the agreement on condition that Iran also renews its commitments.