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In US, Lapid says Israel reserves right to act against Iran’s nuclear program

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

(From left to right): Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan at a press conference in Washington, DC on October 13, 2021. (GPO)
(From left to right): Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan at a press conference in Washington, DC on October 13, 2021. (GPO)

At the joint press conference in Washington after a trilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterates the Biden administration’s intention to build on the Trump administration’s achievements in expanding the Abraham Accords, and praises the deepening of the diplomatic agreements in recent weeks.

“We strongly support these steps,” says Blinken.

He announces two new working groups that all three countries will participate in, one on religious coexistence, and the other on water and energy.

At the press conference, Lapid speaks about the Iran nuclear program, and stresses that “Israel reserves the right to act at any given moment in any way.”

Lapid adds that “we have no intention of letting” Iran become a nuclear power.

“Other options are going to be on the table if diplomacy fails,” says Lapid, adding that everyone in Israel, the UAE and around the world understand what that means.

Says Lapid: “That is not only our right, it is also our responsibility. Iran has publicly stated it wants to wipe us out. We have no intention of letting that happen.”

Returning to a central theme of his vision for the region, Lapid lauds the “alliances of moderates focused on life, focused on hope, focused on looking forward.”

Lapid addresses the Palestinian issue as well, quoting John F. Kennedy’s quote that “all people are entitled to a decent way of life.”

“This includes of course the Palestinians,” he says. “Our goal is to work with the Palestinian Authority to ensure that every child has that opportunity.”

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