During a meeting in the Oval Office with outgoing Israeli president Reuven Rivlin on Monday, President Joe Biden promised that the United States will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal.
“What I could say is that Iran will never get a nuclear weapon on my watch,” Biden affirmed.
Biden’s conversation with Rivlin came the day after the U.S. deployed air strikes against Iranian-backed militants on the Iraq–Syria border. On the topic of the air assaults, Biden echoed the comments of White House press secretary Jen Psaki that the authority to launch them was derived from Article II of the Constitution.
Biden said the strikes targeted facilities “used by the Iranian-backed militia groups responsible for recent attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq.”
“I had that authority under Article II, and even those up on the Hill who are reluctant to acknowledge that acknowledge that’s the case,” he added.
Biden’s comments come amid negotiations between the United States and the Iranian regime over resuscitating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which aimed to curb Iran’s nuclear development.
Despite Iran’s recorded complicity in arming and sponsoring terror organizations as well as concealing its nuclear activities, Biden has signaled that he intends to fulfill Tehran’s condition of lifting sanctions on the state in order to revive the deal spearheaded under the Obama administration in 2015, which only delays rather than stops a nuclear Iran per its stipulations and sunset clauses.
In 2018, then-president Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the JCPOA, claiming that it capitulated to Iran at the expense of the American allied relationship with Israel, global security, and peace prospects. Since the U.S. formally exited, Iran had already exceeded previous limits on low-enriched uranium by November 2020, according to the United Nations nuclear watchdog.
Biden’s discussion with Rivlin also comes after Senate Republicans introduced a bill that would require Biden to secure congressional approval before re-entering or forging a new nuclear deal with Iran. The legislation would classify any new agreement as a treaty, which therefore must be ratified by the Senate in accordance with the Constitution.