Joe Biden’s Green Light To Israel
ABC Interview with the Vice President on Iran

The Mossadegh Project | July 7, 2009                     

Vice President Joe Biden IRAQ— Vice President Joe Biden is well known for his frequent verbal gaffes, but his comments the day after Independence Day were quite deliberate.

In a July 5, 2009 TV interview in Iraq with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, Biden appeared to give the Israeli government a green light to go ahead and attack Iran if it so chooses. “Three times, I asked Biden if the Obama Administration would stand in the way of an Israeli military strike”, wrote Stephanopoulos later that day. “Three times, he repeated that Israel was free to do what it needed to do.”

During his 2008 Presidential bid, the former Senator said war with Iran “would be a disaster.” “[A]ny military conflict with Iran is likely to become major”, he argued in a campaign speech. “Don’t be fooled by talk of a “surgical” strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

Here is a transcript of the discussion, followed by our response to Mr. Biden, sent to the White House on 7/7/09.

ABC News Interview

STEPHANOPOULOS: And meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu has made it pretty clear that he agreed with President Obama to give till 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. There are ways 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 interest, and we have a right and we will determine what’s in our interest.

Israel First, or America?

To: Vice President Joseph Biden

In a recent TV interview [ABC’s This Week, 7/5/09], you repeatedly state that Israel is a sovereign nation and is free to do whatever it decides to do against Iran or anyone else, whether we agree or not, and we cannot dictate to them.

Is the United States now promoting a wild wild west prescription for the world? Using this logic, Iran—as a sovereign state—has any rights to do whatever it wants to do in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine, and even produce an atomic bomb. So, why all the fuss about Iran’s pursuit of its own “interest”?

As Israel’s intimate ally, America should advise Israel against acting irrationally and in a self destructive way. What is a good friend for?

Israel is provided with billions of U.S. dollars annually (with money it doesn’t have and has to borrow), and has been armed to the hilt (again paid by the American taxpayers). Is America abdicating all responsibility for Israel’s behavior?

If Israel attacked Iran, Iran would surely retaliate against the U.S., endangering American lives and American security. Isn’t the U.S. placing the interests of Israel above its own?


The Mossadegh Project
July 7, 2009

President Barack Obama on the 1953 Coup in Iran
President Barack Obama on Iran, Mossadegh and the 1953 Coup


Related links:

Israeli intelligence: Efraim Halevy (Mossad) on Talking With Iran

History of Iran-Israel Relations and Jews of Ancient Persia

Israel’s Threats Against Iran Prompt UN Letter, Complaint

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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