July 6th, 2009
04:40 PM ET

U.S. says it won’t dictate to Israel

Vice President Joe Biden's recent comments on Israel worried some law-makers.

Vice President Joe Biden's recent comments on Israel worried some law-makers.

Charley Keyes
CNN Senior Producer

The State Department carefully steered through new questions Monday over whether the United States would approve an Israeli attack on Iran to disrupt its nuclear program.

Vice President Joe Biden revved up the issue Sunday when he said the United States can’t dictate to Israel. "Israel can determine for itself - it's a sovereign nation - what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else," Biden said on ABC’s “This Week.”

State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly Monday said: “Our goal here is to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. When I say ‘our” it is just not the United States –it is the international community.”

“Israel is a sovereign country. We are not going to dictate its actions. We also are committed to Israel’s security and we share Israel’s deep concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.”

Could this be interpreted as the U.S. flashing a  green light for Israel, the number-one recipient of U.S. aid, to attack Iran’s nuclear sites?  “I certainly would not want to give a green-light to any kind of military action,” Kelly said.

Filed under: Iran • Israel • Vice President
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. stmichaeltraveler

    Pre-emptive Israeli attack on Iran and the consequences:

    Yes, Israel may attack Iran. Vice-President Biden said so. But would USA join in and support Israel as we did for Sadam Hossein? What would be the consequence of this attack?

    First of all it will unify the Iranian people in one voice against Israel and USA, count on it.
    Second, the attack will not stop there; it will drag the entire region into an anti-American union against USA-England and Israel.

    The attack will create a very powerful force of dedicated people with one purpose to remove Israel and USA from the region. The attack will be seen as a coordinated attack by USA using Israel as a surrogate.

    The attack of Sadam Hossein on Iran consolidated Iranian and their government into a united force after1979 revolution. USA must think through the long term implication of a foolish attack on Iran before removing the leash from Israel. We have been in war in both Iraq and Afghanistan for about 7 years; count on a regional war for half-century. USA has been paying the price for our 1953 attack on the Iranian nation.

    July 6, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  2. Heather,Ca

    Israel should be allowed to do whatever it needs to do. They live with terrorists and terrorist attacks on a daily basis. Would we allow other countries to tell us what to do? Of course not.

    July 6, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  3. sharon, sydney, ns

    I think Biden spoke along the lines Obama has been speaking regarding it's, the US's, role in the world. I don't know if they are green lighting Israel to attack Iran or not. Does anyone ever really know what goes on behind the scenes? What I do know is that the US is trying to change their image of invade now and talk later. They are trying to tell the world each nation is sovereign in and of itself and doesn't need the US dictating it's every move. I think Biden was right to say what he did. What Israel does is up to Israel. If they invade they can deal with the aftermath. I am scared, but at the same time I have faith that maybe for once, in these war torn times, that this dispute can be settled peacefully by an international community that only wants peace.

    July 6, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  4. Larry

    Is this where we send Jesse Jackson to do his international relations thing?

    July 6, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  5. The Dude

    I say fuel up the F-16Is and turn Iran into a smoking crater. Let the country's leaders on their precious uranium... Israel doesn't take kindly to bullies, and its time for the nation that has recently walked softly to utilize its big stick. I hope America provides additional arms...I am so looking forward to popping a nice bucket of popcorn and cozying up in from of my computer to watch the the video's of footage captured from the nosecones of Israeli smart bombs.

    July 6, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  6. earle,florida

    You know,this is not the best time to be talking about Israel,and Iran,period! Japan is on the threshold of dealing with North korea by itself,and China is nearing social unrest ? Were bogged down in Iraq,and Afghanistan,and have Pakistan,and India ready to declare "War" on each other! This thespian whirlwind swirling around the globe is a preclude to WWWIII ! These loudmouth narcissistic fools whom obviously have grown some hubris on their back-side,toss-out to the public recycled history lessons, with no knowledge of the conscequences! Their freeze-dried etiquette is fossillized in time,where vanity embraces the ignorance of one's psyche that destroys Empire's,and Civilization's,nascent to their demise,...this VP Biden is a "Baffoon"! There are no other words of discourse I have in my quiver, to explain this man's politically inept promiscuity!

    July 6, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  7. John Hayner

    The Israeli leadership has always had an itchy trigger finger when it comes to provoking other countries! Their military tends to shoot (or bomb) first and apologize later. Might is not always right – even with the Palestinians. Why not try diplomacy first!!

    July 6, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  8. Noel Anthony Haughey

    I support VP Biden. Let these Nations work it out peacefully....

    July 6, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  9. Michael C. McHugh

    Everyone should just play it cool for a while, and wait for the wheels to come off this regime in Iran. Right now, it's maintaining power at gunpoint,using Gestapo methods, but that's no more than a temporary reprieve for their Supreme Leader.

    July 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  10. Ruby Coria LA., CA.

    No one should be fighting, but if they must, then fight your own battles! Leave the U.S out of it, & hopefully we stay out of other nations b.s.

    July 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  11. Tim Gibson

    Perhaps Biden has been tossed a bone so he could speak, good boy, good boy. Now sit.

    From the words he did speak, since he was allowed to speak, it does in my opinion sounds as if the US would back Israel should they find it in their "favor" to attack Iran, and lets face it, Iran and Israel have been biting at the bit longer than a retired race horse on a farm in Kentucky.

    July 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  12. Simon

    this is genuinely scary. I mean, real 'Cuban-missile-crisis-flashback' scary.

    July 6, 2009 at 4:52 pm |