Diplomacy over nukes 'not an option' with Iran

White House National Security Spokesman John Kirby tells Scripps News they are considering "other options" to keep Iran from obtaining weapons.
Diplomacy over nukes 'not an option' with Iran
Posted at 4:57 PM, Apr 14, 2023

The Biden Administration is exploring "other options" to ensure Iran never receives a nuclear weapon as a diplomatic solution appears to be off the table. 

White House National Security Spokesman John Kirby told Scripps News that while the president would prefer to use diplomacy in achieving that goal, "diplomacy right now is not possible." 

"Iran was negotiating in good faith, and now, based on everything else they're doing — supporting Russia and Ukraine by sending them drones, killing and brutalizing their own people who are protesting, in addition to all the other destabilizing activities that Iran is doing in the region, it's clear that a return to the Iran deal diplomatically is not on the agenda," he explained. 

The comment comes after reporting from The Times of Israel in which Yaakov Amidror, a former head of Israel's National Security Council (2011-2013) said Israel needs to be ready for war with Iran without the U.S. 

"We need to prepare for war. It's possible that we will reach a point where we have to attack Iran even without American assistance," Amidror, a hawkish former general who served as National Security Council chief under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2011-2013, said in an interview with Radio 103 FM. 

Just weeks ago, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley made waves while testifying before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, saying "Iran will not have a fielded nuclear weapon." 

The term "fielded" caused concern the administration would allow Iran to have one as long as it was not deployed. 

Gen. Milley also told lawmakers "Iran could produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon in less than two weeks and would only take several more months to produce an actual nuclear weapon." 

Kirby emphasized that the president's goal has always been to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. 

"Period. That's his policy. And we're sticking to that," he said.

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