A spokesman for US Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Biden on Monday scathingly rejected an Army Radio report which claimed Biden told Jerusalem officials three years ago that he firmly opposed an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and that Israel would likely have to come to terms with a nuclear Iran.
“This is a lie peddled by partisan opponents of Senators Obama and Biden and we will not tolerate anyone questioning Senator Biden’s 35-year record of standing up for the security of Israel,” Biden’s press secretary, David Wade, said in a statement.
“Joe Biden’s first trip as a senator was to Israel. He has worked with every Israeli leader from Golda Meir to Prime Minister Olmert, and he takes a back seat to no one when it comes to protecting the relationship between Israel and the US,” Wade added. “Senator Biden has consistently stated – publicly and privately – that a nuclear Iran would pose a grave threat to Israel and the United States and that we must prevent a nuclear Iran.”
Wade noted that only two months ago, in a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations committee – which Biden heads – the senator reiterated his long-held view on this subject by stating that “Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon would dramatically destabilize an already unstable region and probably fuel a nuclear arms race in the region. It is profoundly in our interest to prevent that from happening.”
The Army Radio report asserted that Biden had expressed doubt over the effectiveness of economic sanctions imposed on Iran. The report also said Biden was against the opening of an additional military and diplomatic front, saying that the US had more pressing problems, such as North Korea and Iraq.
The Army Radio report was unsourced and did not name any of the officials to whom Biden had purportedly spoken.
Biden has a solid 36-year Senate record of pro-Israel leadership. He has called Israel “the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East” and declared himself a Zionist in an interview with a US Jewish television channel last year, saying that “you don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.”
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