Jerusalem – Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden was quoted Monday as telling senior Israeli officials behind closed doors that the Jewish state will have to reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran.
In the unsourced report, Army Radio also quoted Biden as saying that he opposed “opening a additional military and diplomatic front.”
Biden, chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has long been considered strongly pro-Israel. His nomination as Barack Obama’s running mate had been expected to shore up the Democrats’ strength with U.S. Jewish voters.
Army Radio said Israeli officials expressed “amazement” over the remarks attributed to him.
“Israel will have to reconcile itself with the nuclearization of Iran,” Army Radio quoted Biden as telling the unnamed officials.
“It’s doubtful if the economic sanctions will be effective, and I am against opening an additional military and diplomatic front.”
Last year, in a widely quoted interview with year the Jewish American Shalom TV, Biden said, “I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist,” adding that “Israel is the single greatest strength that America has in the Middle East,” and that its presence as a strategic ally meant that America need station far fewer troops and warships in the region.
Biden Camp Tells the J-Post that the Report on Iran is a Lie.
A spokesman for US Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Biden on Monday scathingly rejected an Army Radio report which claimed he told Jerusalem officials three years ago that he was firmly opposed to 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.”