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Israel free to deal with Iran says US

Washington, July 6, 2009

US Vice-President Joe Biden has signalled that the Obama administration would not stand in the way if Israel chose to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.

Israel has a sovereign right to decide what is in its best interest in dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions whether the United States agrees or not, Biden said in an interview on Sunday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signaled that he agrees with US President Barack Obama's end-of-the-year deadline for progress in efforts to engage Iran diplomatically to resolve dispute over its nuclear program.

In an interview on ABC's 'This Week' program, Biden said Israel can determine for itself how best to deal with the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

'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,' Biden said.

Netanyahu, who took office in March, has said Israel cannot allow Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons and has not ruled out a possible military strike against Iran.

 Israel has said a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence, noting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's calls for Israel to be wiped off the map. Iran denies it is enriching uranium for military purposes, saying its nuclear development is aimed at generating electricity. - Reuters




Tags: Israel | Biden |

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