Vice President Joe Biden alluded to a potential military conflict with Iran Monday if sanctions on the Islamic Republic fail to stop their nuclear ambitions.
“God forbid the need to act occurs, it is critically important for the whole world to know we did everything in our power, we did everything reasonably could have been expected to avoid any confrontation,” Biden said during a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s policy conference in Washington.
“That matters. Because God forbid if we have to act, it’s important that the rest of the world is with us.”
Biden added that sanctions enacted during the Obama administration have left Iran “more isolated than ever.”
“We have united the international community behind these unprecedented sanctions,’ Biden said. “We have left Iran more isolated than ever.”
Earlier in the speech, Biden stipulated that the Obama administration was “not looking for war” and is ”ready to negotiate peacefully.”
“But all options, including military force, are on the table,” he declared.
The administration’s goal, he said, was to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, not containing any nuclear breakout.
“So we have a shared strategic commitment,” Biden said. “Let me make clear what that commitment is: It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, period. Period. End of discussion. Period. Prevent — not contain — prevent.”
The vice president said that a nuclear Iran would “trigger an arms race — a nuclear arms race — in the region that would make the world a whole lot less stable.”
“It is not only in Israel’s interest that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, it’s in the interest of the United States of America,” he said. “And as a matter of fact, it is in the interest of the entire world.”
Though Biden said the ”window is closing” for a diplomatic solution, he emphasized that “their is still time and space to achieve the outcome” without force.