Biden: US is committed to ensuring Iran never gets nuclear weapon

Washington will not walk away and leave a vacuum filled by Russia, China or Iran, Biden said.

 US President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrive for the family photo during the "GCC+3" (Gulf Cooperation Council) meeting at a hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia July 16, 2022.  (photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/REUTERS)
US President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrive for the family photo during the "GCC+3" (Gulf Cooperation Council) meeting at a hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia July 16, 2022.
(photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/REUTERS)

The US is committed to ensuring that Iran never manages to procure a nuclear weapon, US President Joe Biden said Saturday afternoon, speaking during a summit with six Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq in Jeddah during his historic trip through the Middle East.

Washington will not walk away and leave a vacuum filled by Russia, China or Iran, Biden said.

US President Joe Biden said on Saturday the United States would remain an active, engaged partner in the Middle East and urged leaders gathered at an Arab summit to see human rights as a powerful force of economic and social change.

"The United States is invested in building a positive future of the region, in partnership with all of you - and the United States is not going anywhere," Biden told the Arab leaders in a speech to kick off the summit.

Biden is seeking to start a new chapter in US involvement in the Middle East, hoping to move past US military conflicts and instead push for a region that respects individual nations' domestic affairs but seeks economic integration and shared defenses amid concerns over Iran.

 US President Joe Biden pauses as he meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (not seen), in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 16, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN) US President Joe Biden pauses as he meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (not seen), in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 16, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)

On his first Middle East trip as president, Biden focused on Saturday's planned summit with six Gulf states and Egypt, Jordan and Iraq while downplaying a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

That encounter has drawn criticism in the United States over human rights abuses.

This is a developing story.