US can deal with Ukraine and block Iran nuke at same time - Nides

US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides spoke at the INSS annual conference in Tel Aviv.

 US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides on December 2, 2021 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides on December 2, 2021
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides on Tuesday said the Biden administration is very capable of managing the crisis with Ukraine while still ensuring that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon.

Speaking at the INSS annual conference in Tel Aviv, he said, “The president has made it abundantly clear, the US will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. [Israel National Security Council Chief Eyal] Hulata speaks to the White House every day.

“Yes, we are focused on Russia and Ukraine, but we are also focused on making sure Iran does not get a nuclear weapon,” he said, adding that Biden’s Washington and Middle East officials are also speaking to American nuclear negotiators in Vienna every day.

While not downplaying the different positions between the countries – in which the US wants an agreement with Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, whereas Prime minister Naftali Bennett is hoping for no deal – Nides said that he and Washington are constantly updating Israel in a forthright way.

Referring to the Abraham Accords, Nides said, “This administration is fully supportive of what the Trump administration did with the Abraham Accords. I would hope not only that the Palestinians would embrace the Abraham Accords, but that the Abraham Accords would embrace the Palestinians.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at the INSS 2018 conference  (credit: MICHAEL DIMENSTEIN)Education Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at the INSS 2018 conference (credit: MICHAEL DIMENSTEIN)

Nides reiterated the Biden administration's support for a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

He said he had no illusions that there will be major breakthroughs under the Bennett administration, but said it is important to create positive momentum and conditions for progress between the peoples down the road.