Biden reaffirmed his desire to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal if Tehran complies, but noted that he has no intention of allowing Iran to reach nuclear capability.
US President-elect Joe Biden speaks about the US economy as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris stands by, Wilmington, Delaware, US, November 16, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)
President-elect Joe Biden addressed for the first time on Thursday night US time the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as Iran’s chief nuclear scientist, in an interview given to CNN.
He said that it was “hard to tell how much” the recent assassination of the scientist would complicate his dealings with Tehran.
Recall, Fakhrizadeh was killed last Friday. He had been a target for Israelis for a long time.
He slammed US President Donald Trump’s dealings with Iran and his decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal, reaffirming his desire to rejoin if Tehran complies.
“He has pulled out to get something tougher, and what have they done? They’ve increased the ability for them to have nuclear material. They’re moving closer to the ability to be able to have enough material for a nuclear weapon. And there’s the missile issues,” the president-elect said. “The bottom line is that we can’t allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.”
Biden expressed similar sentiments earlier this week in an interview with the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.
“The last goddamn thing we need in that part of the world is a buildup of nuclear capability,” Biden said.
Friedman wrote a column arguing that Biden should use leverage from Trump’s sanctions to curb Iranian exports of precision-guided missiles throughout the region before rejoining the nuclear deal.
“Look,” said Biden, “there’s a lot of talk about precision missiles and all range of other things that are destabilizing the region.” But, he added, “the best way to achieve getting some stability in the region” is to deal “with the nuclear program.”
Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country would fully implement its 2015 nuclear deal if Biden lifted sanctions, adding that could be done swiftly with “three executive orders.”
“In consultation with our allies and partners, we’re going to engage in negotiations and follow-on agreements to tighten and lengthen Iran’s nuclear constraints, as well as address the missile program,” Biden added.