Joe Biden Tells AIPAC That Obama Is Not 'Bluffing' on Iran Nuclear Threat

Veep Insists U.S. Serious About Blocking Weapons Production

getty images

By Reuters

Published March 04, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Vice President Joe Biden told America’s biggest pro-Israel lobbying organization on Monday that President Barack Obama is “not bluffing” about the United States’ determination to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

“The president of the United States cannot and does not bluff. President Barack Obama is not bluffing,” he told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in a speech to its annual policy conference.

“We’re not looking for war. We’re ready to negotiate peacefully . But all options including military force are on the table,” said Biden.

“While that window is closing, we believe there is still time and space (for diplomacy),” he added.

The United States and many of its allies suspect Iran may be using its civil nuclear program as a cover to develop atomic weapons, a possibility that Israel, which is regarded as the Middle East’s only nuclear power, sees as a mortal threat.

Biden said that a nuclear bomb in Iranian hands would be an “existential threat” to Israel, poses danger to other U.S. allies in the Middle East and would destabilize the world.

“We have a shared strategic commitment. Let me make clear what that commitment is: It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, period,” he said to loud applause from AIPAC, which has gathered some 13,000 activists in Washington this week.

Talks involving Iran and world powers in Kazakhstan about its nuclear work ended last week with an agreement to meet again.

But Western officials said Iran had yet to do anything concrete to allay their concerns about its nuclear aspirations, and Israeli leaders have warned that Tehran is using the negotiations to buy time to advance their nuclear program.

The United States, China, France, Russia, Britain and Germany offered modest relief from economic sanctions in return for Iran reining in its most sensitive nuclear activity but made clear that no breakthrough was in the offing quickly.

Obama will visit Israel before the Jewish holiday of Passover, which begins the week of March 25, Biden said.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.