President Joe Biden talked tough on Iran a day after a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport killed 13 U.S. service members.
Biden spoke with reporters ahead of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday and declined to take questions about the devolving situation in Afghanistan.
“I’ll be available at another time,” he said.
Biden spoke about COVID-19 vaccines before addressing Iran and its nuclear weapons program. He told reporters the U.S. would protect Israel from its greatest foe.
“We’re also going to discuss Israel’s unwavering commitment that we have in the United States to Israel’s security. And I fully, fully, fully support replenishing Israel’s Iron Dome system,” he said.
“And we also are going to discuss the threat from Iran and our commitment to ensure Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. And — but we’re putting diplomacy first and seeing where that takes us,” he added.
Despite the collapse of Afghanistan and the deaths of U.S. troops, Biden said he was ready to take on Iran.
“But if diplomacy fails, we’re ready to turn to other options. We’ll support Israel’s developing deeper ties, as well, with the Arab and Muslim neighbors and — and globally.
“That’s a trend that I think should be encouraged and not discouraged. And we’re going to do all we can to be value added,” Biden said.
While Biden was positioning himself against the Iranian regime, thousands of Americans and Western allies remained stranded in Kabul, unable to enter the airport to evacuate.
Do you think President Biden is capable of managing Iranian aggression?
The Hamid Karzai International Airport is the only viable way out of Afghanistan since the U.S. hastily abandoned Bagram Air Base as part of its withdrawal last month.
A Taliban spokesman announced on Friday that the U.S. controls only a fraction of the airport.
On Thursday, ISIS-K terrorists killed 13 American troops and at least 169 civilians in a suicide attack there.
According to CNBC, there could be as many as 1,000 Americans still in Afghanistan, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken could not confirm that number.
“The U.S. government does not track Americans’ movements when they travel around the world,” Blinken said.
“There could be other Americans in Afghanistan who never enrolled with the embassy, who ignored public evacuation notices and have not yet identified themselves.”
Biden has committed to withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Tuesday after one of the most humiliating military defeats in modern American history.