Joe Biden slams Trump for making ‘gigantic mistake’ in 2018 as POTUS visits Israel

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Ex-President Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018, claiming it failed to curtail Iran’s missile program and regional influence. Iran began ignoring limitations on its nuclear program a year later.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 News which was taped ahead of a four-day trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, Mr Biden said: “The only thing worse than the Iran that exists now is Iran with nuclear weapons.”

The President’s comments come amid rising tensions with Iran and as Biden faces increasing pressure from key Middle East allies to outline a comprehensive plan to constrain Iran, as hopes for reviving the 2015 nuclear deal appear to be fading.

Mr Biden said in the interview he would use force “as a last resort” to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The President said he was also committed to keeping the IRGC, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, on the foreign terrorist list, even if it would kill a potential deal.

The Iran nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is a landmark accord reached between Iran and several world powers, including the United States, in July 2015.

Under its terms, Iran agreed to dismantle much of its nuclear program and open its facilities to more extensive international inspections in exchange for billions of dollars’ worth of sanctions relief.

In the lead up to Biden’s trip, the US has been laying the groundwork to build a regional coalition against Iran and is urging the Gulf countries to integrate all their air and missile defence systems against Iranian attacks.

The President further criticised the Trump administration’s foreign policy and said: “There are those who thought with the last administration we sort of walked away from the Middle East, that we were going to create a vacuum that China and or Russia would fill, and we can’t let that happen.”

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He stressed his trip to Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia, the first of his presidency, was aimed at working toward stability in the region.

The President said he disagreed with other progressive Democrats who are highly critical of Israel and challenge US aid to the country.

He said: “There are few of them. I think they’re wrong. I think they’re making a mistake. Israel is a democracy. Israel is our ally. Israel is a friend.”

He pointed to his administration’s support of the Iron Dome aerial defence system and the next-generation, laser-enabled Iron Beam system, which he toured on his first day in Israel.

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