The “Jerusalem Declaration on the Strategic Partnership between the United States and Israel” will be “living testimony to the unique nature, health, breadth, depth and intimacy” of this bilateral relationship, said a senior Israeli official on condition of anonymity.
In particular, this document will express “a very clear and united position against Iran, its nuclear program and its aggression across the region”, he said.
The Americans do not use until now the expression “Declaration of Jerusalem” to evoke this text. But a senior White House official, who did not wish to be named, called the document “significant”.
It contains “an oath never to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons”, he said, assuring that the United States and Israel had “a fairly good community of views” on This folder.
The attitude to adopt vis-à-vis Tehran is a source of hesitation between the United States, which would like to try the diplomatic route by resuscitating a 2015 agreement aimed at guaranteeing the civilian nature of the Iranian nuclear program, and Israel, a follower hard line.
Considered by experts as the only nuclear power in the Middle East, Israel accuses Iran, its sworn enemy, of seeking to acquire the atomic bomb, which this country categorically denies.
In 2018, under the Trump administration, the United States withdrew from the 2015 agreement and reinstated sanctions against Iran, pushing the latter to reconsider some of its commitments dictated by this pact.
“It was a gigantic mistake by the last president to pull out of the deal because they (the Iranians) are closer to atomic weapons today than they were before,” Biden said in a statement. an interview with Israeli Channel 12 aired Wednesday evening.
Asked if he was ready to use force in order to ensure that Iran does not obtain atomic weapons, Mr. Biden replied: “yes, if it is a last resort”.
Israel fears, among other things, that a lifting of sanctions would replenish Iran’s coffers, which would allow it to increase its support for its regional allies such as the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas, pet peeves of the Jewish state.
In detail, Joe Biden is to meet at midday with Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
He will also participate in a meeting of a format called “I2U2”, with the leaders of Israel, India, an ally of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates, a country which normalized its relations in 2020 with Israel.
At this meeting will be presented, according to the senior American official, a “two billion dollar” project for agricultural development in India.
– “Medal of Honor” –
Joe Biden will also see President Isaac Herzog, who is to decorate him with a “medal of honor”, and he will go to encourage American athletes participating in the Maccabiah Games, Jewish sports meetings organized every four years in Israel.
Finally, as is customary for an American president, especially since Israel is campaigning for the early legislative elections on November 1, Mr. Biden will meet the political opposition, in this case the former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Joe Biden’s visit – his tenth in total, but his first as president – aims for Washington to recall his influence in a region that has not so far been the priority of the Democratic administration, especially obsessed with China and Russia.
Where almost all American administrations have directed many diplomatic efforts towards the Middle East, with great initiatives for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, that of Joe Biden has so far remained in the background.
The president plans, according to a senior US official, to make Friday, during a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank, a “significant” aid for hospitals in East Jerusalem, and a project to develop a 4G network in both the West Bank and Gaza.
This economic support “does not replace the need, in the end, for a political horizon”, he assured. “We are not going to present a comprehensive peace plan” because that “would create expectations which would probably be disappointed” but “if the two parties are ready to dialogue, we will be there”.
After Israel, Mr. Biden is due to travel to Saudi Arabia on Friday with the main objective of convincing this oil power to open the floodgates to calm crude prices.