Biden Reassures Jewish Leaders ‘All Options on Table’
Speaking with 70 leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Washington, Biden and other senior Obama administration officials briefed the leaders on U.S. foreign policy.
The emphasis was on Iran, which secured an apparent agreement with the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency that Israel sees as not being strong enough to deter Iran from its nuclear ambitions. The deal is supposed to allow United Nations nuclear inspectors to visit Iran’s nuclear sites.
Iranian officials are to meet in Baghdad on Wednesday with the “P5 + 1,” comprised of the five United Nations Security Council permanent members and Germany.
Iran is to receive a proposal that is expected to include its agreement to shut down a high-grade uranium enrichment operation. Israeli leaders are strongly skeptical of any agreement that does not require Iran to stop all enrichment of uranium, a key element for a nuclear weapon.
At the meeting with Jewish leaders, the American officials, including Deputy National Security Advisor Dennis McDonough reiterated the administration’s "ironclad" commitment to Israel's security.
The Conference leaders routinely meet with White House officials once a year, but Tuesday’s meeting was politically important because of the presidential elections in November.
Virtually all polls show that President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, who has sewn up the GOP nomination, are running neck and-neck, with a marginal advantage to Romney.