What on earth is going on here? On "This Week" this morning, Biden shrugs off possible Israeli action against Iran with "Whattaya gon
What on earth is going on here? On "This Week" this morning, Biden shrugs off possible Israeli action against Iran with "Whattaya gonna do?". But Joe, while Israel is certainly a sovereign nation, it's one that's heavily subsidized by the United States and we certainly do have a say. Didn't you just give them the go-ahead signal to bomb Iran?
Seems to me this is the moral equivalent of sending detainees to other countries to be tortured and then saying, "That wasn't us!"...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But there will be engagement -- if the Iranians want to...
BIDEN: If the Iranians seek to engage, we will engage.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And meanwhile, the clock is ticking...
BIDEN: If the Iranians respond to the offer of engagement, we will engage.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But the offer is on the table?
BIDEN: The offer's on the table.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu has made it pretty clear that he agreed with President Obama to give until the end of the year for this whole process of engagement to work. After that, he's prepared to make matters into his own hands.
Is that the right approach?
BIDEN: Look, Israel can determine for itself -- it's a sovereign nation -- what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Whether we agree or not?
BIDEN: Whether we agree or not. They're entitled to do that. Any sovereign nation is entitled to do that. But there is no pressure from any nation that's going to alter our behavior as to how to proceed.
What we believe is in the national interest of the United States, which we, coincidentally, believe is also in the interest of Israel and the whole world. And so there are separate issues.
If the Netanyahu government decides to take a course of action different than the one being pursued now, that is their sovereign right to do that. That is not our choice.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But just to be clear here, if the Israelis decide Iran is an existential threat, they have to take out the nuclear program, militarily the United States will not stand in the way?
BIDEN: Look, we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination, if they make a determination that they're existentially threatened and their survival is threatened by another country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say we can't dictate, but we can, if we choose to, deny over-flight rights here in Iraq. We can stand in the way of a military strike.
BIDEN: I'm not going to speculate, George, on those issues, other than to say Israel has a right to determine what's in its interests, and we have a right and we will determine what's in our interests.