U.S. will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapon, says Kamala Harris

August 27, 2020 08:22 am | Updated 08:28 am IST - Washington

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del.

The United States will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapon, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris said on Wednesday, asserting that if voted to power, a Biden Administration will work with allies to strengthen the Obama-era nuclear deal with Tehran and push back its other destabilizing actions.

Training her gun at the Trump Administration on the matter, the Indian-origin Senator said, “That nuclear deal, as we all know, blocked Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon and it was working, as was verified by international inspectors and the U.S. intelligence community. But Donald Trump withdrew from it...promising a better deal and a cowed Iran, but instead Iran is revving up its nuclear activity and becoming more provocative.”

“Let me be clear, we will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Period. We will continue to ensure that Israel has the unbreakable support of the United States,” said Harris, the first person of Black and Indian descent to have been nominated by a major party as its vice-presidential candidate.

'Rejoin a diplomatic agreement'

The Democratic Party’s presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden, she said, actually took historic steps as vice president to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. She was responding to questions during a fundraiser.

“The Obama-Biden administration imposed what were described as crippling multilateral sanctions which brought Iran to negotiations, which paved the way for the JCPOA and prevented a nuclear armed Iran,” she said.

JCPOA or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as Iran nuclear deal, was signed during the Obama era. His successor and incumbent President Donald Trump withdrew from JCPOA.

Harris, the first-term Senator from California who serves on the House Intelligence committee, said that she believes that the U.S. is more isolated than ever from its allies.

“The Trump administration took the issue of arms embargo against Iran to the (U.N.) Security Council recently and only one other country voted with us. I think it’s fair to say this America First approach has been America alone which is not in our best interest or in the interest of our allies,” she said.

“Our administration will hold Iran’s government accountable and rejoin a diplomatic agreement if Iran comes back into compliance. And we will work with our allies, of course, to strengthen the Iran deal and push back Iran’s other destabilising actions,” Harris said.

'Unbreakable commitment to Israel’s security'

Responding to a question on continuation of unconditional security assistance to Israel, she said that Biden has made it clear his administration will not tie security assistance to any political decisions that Israel makes.

“As vice president, Joe Biden helped ensure unwavering support for Israel’s security. During the Obama-Biden administration he was a key advocate in securing support for life-saving technologies which I have seen...,” she said.

Biden has also helped shape the unprecedented $38 billion a year memorandum of understanding for defense assistance to Israel that was signed in 2016, which was the largest military aid package in American history, Harris said.

“I pledge to you the Biden-Harris administration will sustain our unbreakable commitment to Israel’s security including the unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation pioneered during the Obama-Biden administration and the guarantee that Israel will always maintain its qualitative military edge,” Harris said.

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