President Joe Biden said that Iran is closer than ever before to creating nuclear weapons.
He blamed former President Donald Trump for withdrawing from the Iran deal in 2018.
Biden seeks to renew the deal, which trades restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program for sanctions relief.
President Joe Biden said his predecessor, Donald Trump, made a “huge mistake” by pulling out of the multinational deal with Iran and that it has brought Iran ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.
“The only thing worse than the Iran that exists now is a nuclear-armed Iran,” Biden said in an interview with Israeli broadcaster Channel12 aired on Wednesday.
“I think it was a big mistake that the last president walked out of the deal. They are closer to a nuclear weapon now than they were before,” he added.
The president gave the interview just before his four-day trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, as key allies of the United States in the Middle East urged Biden draft a strategy to contain Iran and its militant groups.
Biden said the Iran deal still “makes sense” amid the context of US opposition to the Iranian Quds Force. East paramilitary group he has fought Washington interests and helped kill hundreds of US soldiers in the Middle East over the past decade.
When asked by Israeli newscaster Yonit Levi if the White House “use force” against Iran’s nuclear program, Biden said he would be willing to sanction an attack, but that it would be a “last resort.”
“But Iran cannot get a nuclear weapon,” he reiterated.
Biden has sought to restore the 2015 Iran deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – from which former President Trump withdrew the US in 2018.
The pact dates back to the Obama administration and involves the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany. It detailed an agreement by Iran to reduce its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Trump pulled out of the deal in 2018, heavily criticizing on the basis that its restrictions would eventually expire and possibly allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon later.
About a year after Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran, the country began taking steps to leave the deal. He abandoned the deal entirely in 2020, after the Trump administration ordered a drone strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Solemaini.
In May, the International Atomic Energy Agency he said Iran’s enriched uranium stockpiles had exceeded the limit agreed in the 2015 deal by 18 times.
Under Biden, the prospect of a new deal has been stalled by Iranian officials who insist Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps be removed from power. List of US foreign terrorist organizations In Wednesday’s interview, Biden said he would not be willing to agree to that request so the deal could go through.
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