Biden: Israel free to set own course on Iran
By ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer Robert Burns, Ap National Security Writer – Sun Jul 5, 4:09 pm ET
WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden signaled that the Obama administration would not stand in the way if Israel chose to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, even as the top U.S. military officer said any attack on Iran would be destabilizing.
Biden's remarks suggested a tougher U.S. stance against Iran's nuclear ambitions. Nonetheless, administration officials insisted his televised remarks Sunday reflected the U.S. view that Israel has a right to defend itself and make its own decisions on national security.
In an interview on ABC's "This Week," Biden also said the U.S. offer to negotiate with Tehran on its nuclear program still stands. Some thought the administration's approach might change in light of the Iranian government's harsh crackdown on protesters after the June 12 presidential election. Opponents of the ruling authorities claimed the vote was rigged against them.
"If the Iranians respond to the offer of engagement, we will engage," Biden said.
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