President Joe Biden said Thursday the U.S. won’t wait indefinitely for Iran to rejoin a nuclear deal, a day after saying he would be willing to use force as a “last resort.”
Speaking at a news conference in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Biden said the U.S. is waiting for a response from Tehran about an offer to return to the agreement.
“When that will come, I’m not certain,” Biden said. “But we’re not going to wait forever.”
Lapid, meanwhile, struck a more forceful tone, saying: “The only way to stop them is to put a credible military threat on the table.”
In comments to Israel’s Channel 12 that were broadcast Wednesday, Biden was asked about using military force against Iran. He replied, “If that was the last resort, yes.”
At the news conference, Biden continued to hold out hope that Iran would be persuaded to rejoin the nuclear deal. “I continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome,” he said in comments reported by the Associated Press.
Former President Donald Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. The agreement was reached under President Barack Obama in 2015.
Biden is scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia on Friday. The president reportedly stopped short of committing to discuss the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi with Saudi leaders, saying instead that he “always” brings up human rights.
As MarketWatch has reported, the pressure is on for the U.S. to look to Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, for more barrels of oil
Limits to oil production capacity, however, are likely to be a difficult obstacle to overcome, analysts said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.