United States Vice President Joe Biden has signaled
that U.S will not stand in the way of Israel if it decides to engage Iran in a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. This is the exact scenario that indicated the escalation of conflict in the Middle-east.
White House Leak: Cheney's Plan for Iran Attack Starts With Israeli...
- "In the scenario concocted by Cheney's strategists, Washington's first step would be to convince Israel to fire missiles at Iran's uranium enrichment plant in Natanz. Tehran would retaliate with its own strike, providing the US with an excuse to attack military targets and nuclear facilities in Iran."
It appears that the White-house is carrying out the plans laid out during the previous administration to engage the Middle east in another conflict, this time with Iran.
"BIDEN2On Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden was granting ABC News a showpiece interview during his stay in Iraq. He began with comments on this country, insisting the US would hope to its timetable of withdrawal of combat forces by 2011, and then turned to neighbouring Iran. Initially, he held the Obama line keeping engagement with Tehran open while condemining the post-election violence.
Then, however, Biden ventured into uncharted political waters:
HOST GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu has made it pretty clear that he agreed with President Obama to give until the end of the year for this whole process of engagement to work. After that, he’s prepared to make matters into his own hands.
Is that the right approach?
BIDEN: Look, Israel can determine for itself — it’s a sovereign nation — what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Whether we agree or not?
BIDEN: Whether we agree or not. They’re entitled to do that. Any sovereign nation is entitled to do that. But there is no pressure from any nation that’s going to alter our behavior as to how to proceed.
What we believe is in the national interest of the United States, which we, coincidentally, believe is also in the interest of Israel and the whole world. And so there are separate issues.
If the Netanyahu government decides to take a course of action different than the one being pursued now, that is their sovereign right to do that. That is not our choice.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But just to be clear here, if the Israelis decide Iran is an existential threat, they have to take out the nuclear program, militarily the United States will not stand in the way?
BIDEN: Look, we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination, if they make a determination that they’re existentially threatened and their survival is threatened by another country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say we can’t dictate, but we can, if we choose to, deny over-flight rights here in Iraq. We can stand in the way of a military strike.
BIDEN: I’m not going to speculate, George, on those issues, other than to say Israel has a right to determine what’s in its interests, and we have a right and we will determine what’s in our interests.
So did the US Vice President just say that Washington would stand aside in the event of an Israeli attack on Iranian facilities? The Jerusalem Post certainly thinks so: within minutes of the interview, it was headlining, “Biden: US will not stand in Israel’s way on Iranian issue.” So does Ha’aretz: “Biden: U.S. won’t stop Israeli strike on Iran.”
Biden has been known to speak carelessly — indeed, he’s a Daily Show favourite for going verbally off the rails. So maybe he meant to say that Israel would have to make its own determination, and then the US would have to decide whether it would approve of Tel Aviv’s action. However, his line that “we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do…if they make a determination that they’re existentially threatened” seems to be a de facto bow-down to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rhetoric, if not an actual green light for Israeli operations."