Biden at AIPAC:

We will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon


U.S. Vice President Joe Biden addressed the AIPAC annual policy conference on Monday, pledging that the Obama administration would not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.

Obama, he said, will "prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Period. Not contain – prevent." The president, he said, "is not bluffing.... Presidents cannot bluff and President Obama is not bluffing."

He defended the ongoing negotiations with Iran as a necessary prelude to possible military action. The U.S., he said, is "not looking for war" and "it's critically important for the world to know we did everything in our power, everything reasonably expected, to stop it first."

Biden emphasized the fact that the U.S. views an Iranian nuke as a threat to its own interests as well as Israel. "It will trigger an arms race," he said, "and it will make the world a much less stable place."

Neither president Obama or Israeli prime minister Netanyahu attended the AIPAC conference this year, though Netanyahu addressed the gathering on video. Biden therefore represents the highest representative of the administration to speak at the conference, and his statement can be taken as the official stance of the president himself.

Biden, however, is known as an unpredictable politician, prone to gaffes and sometimes inappropriate outbursts. He has, at times, made statements that go beyond Obama's personal convictions.

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