Reuters, JERUSALEM, July 14 - After years of disagreements over international diplomacy with Tehran, U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid will join forces on Thursday to sign a joint declaration promising to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
As part of his visit to Jerusalem, Biden told Israeli television on Wednesday that he was willing to use force as a "last resort" against Iran, seemingly caving in to Israel's demands that the international community poses a "serious military threat".
For years, the US and Israel have each made covert remarks about a potential preemptive strike on Iran, which denies wanting nuclear weapons. Formally expressing the rhetoric may increase the perception of resolve and deterrence.
Biden could benefit from the demonstration of American and Israeli commitment when he travels to Saudi Arabia on Friday. Biden wants to use Riyadh's concerns about Iran to advance reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Israel under American sponsorship.
Before the signing ceremony, Biden met with Lapid, and according to the press, they spoke about "how crucial it was, from my standpoint, for Israel to be completely integrated into the area."
Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia was deemed "very essential to Israel" by Lapid.
About the forthcoming announcement regarding Jerusalem, Tehran made no immediate remark.
The language would include "a vow and a commitment never to permit Iran to have a nuclear weapon and that we're willing to deploy all components of our national strength to secure that result," a senior U.S. official said.
Iran signed a global agreement in 2015 restricting Iranian nuclear programs with the potential to make bombs. When Donald Trump, then-president of the United States, withdrew from the agreement in 2018, Israel applauded his decision.
Since then, Iran has intensified some nuclear programs, making it more difficult for the world's powers to reach an agreement during the Vienna negotiations. Israel has recently stated that it will accept a new agreement with stricter clauses. Iran has refused to comply with new restrictions.
In the Israeli TV interview, Biden added, "The only thing worse than the Iran that exists now is an Iran with nuclear weapons and if we can return to the deal, we can hold them tight."
According to certain Israeli and Gulf Arab officials, the sanctions relief from the deal will provide Iran with additional money to assist proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. They doubt that the Biden administration will take significant action to restrain Iran's regional actions.
When asked if the purpose of Thursday's announcement was to gain time with Israel while Washington pursued talks with Iran, the U.S. official responded as follows: "We have made it very plain that we are willing to sign the Vienna accord if Iran chooses to do so. At the same time, if they are not, we will keep putting more pressure on Iran through sanctions and diplomatic isolation."
The threat of military action, according to a top Israeli official, is a strategy for averting conflict.
Director-general of the Defense Ministry Amir Eshel told Israel's Kan radio that "(it) is an assurance that the diplomatic, economic, and legal measures against Iran will be effective." Iran has demonstrated to everyone that when it is put under pressure, it understands how to halt and alter its behavior.