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Joe Biden seeks diplomacy with Iran on nuclear deal, but open to 'other options'

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Joe Biden seeks diplomacy with Iran on nuclear deal, but open to 'other options'
U.S. President Joe Biden (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett shake hands in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Pool Photo by Sarahbeth Maney/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 27 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden said Friday the United States will try diplomacy to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but will use "other options" if necessary.

He made the comments in the Oval Office of the White House after his first bilateral meeting with new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The face-to-face meeting was postponed a day due to twin explosions in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday killed more than 100 people, including 13 U.S. service members.

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"We are going to discuss the threat from Iran and our commitment to ensure Iran never develops a nuclear weapon," Biden told reporters. "We're putting diplomacy first and seeing where that takes us. But if diplomacy fails, we're ready to turn to other options.

Israel has opposed the United States' return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action -- the so-called Iran nuclear deal enacted in 2015 under former President Barack Obama. It lifts sanctions against Iran in exchange for limits on Tehran's nuclear activities.

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Former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018, but Biden has said he intends to rejoin it.

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Iran, meanwhile, has refused to resume negotiations with the United States on the JCPOA.

"These very days illustrate what the world would look like if a radical Islamic regime acquired a nuclear weapon," Bennett said. "That marriage would be a nuclear nightmare for the entire world.

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"Iran is the world's number one exporter of terror, instability and human rights violations. And as we sit here right now, the Iranians are spinning their centrifuges in Natanz and Fordo. We've got to stop it. And we both agreed."

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