U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides said he was pleased to hear Prime Minister Yair Lapid's speech, backing a two-state solution to the Israeli Palestinian Conflict.
Nides sat down for an interview to discuss U.S. Israeli relations and the burning security considerations facing the region, including the threat of nuclear Iran.
How do you view Israel's Prime Minister Yair Lapid's public support during his United Nations General Assembly speech on the issue of the two-state solution, is it realistic?
Nides: "As you know this is not the first the prime minister has articulated his view of a two-state solution. In fact, when President Joe Biden was in Israel a month ago, he had a press conference reiterating his support for a two-state solution. So again, standing up at the UN and talking about it is exceptionally important. obviously the U.S. president, myself, and all those who are serving this administration, fully support what he said."
"We hope for the long term and get to where we need to be which is a two-state solution, the 1967 borders and we will have the ability to have a two-stage solution not only a vision of it but in reality, a two-state solution for the Palestinian people and the Israeli people, without by the way, which is very important, compromising the security of the state of Israel which is what the prime minister articulated."
Israel has aggressively been making its case against Iran's nuclear deal and Israeli officials have been going back and forth to Washington and European capitals in an attempt to persuade Western leaders either to sign a tough deal or not sign a deal. Has its presentation helped the U.S formulate a position on the Iran nuclear deal?
Nides: "Well let me make three points, number one the president has said from the beginning that we have Israel's back that we will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon he said that over and over again; number two, the president has also articulated that U.S. under no circumstances tie Israel's hands to defend itself be it Iran or Hezbollah or the proxies and we've been very clear about that; number three, yes the president would like to get back to the nuclear deal with Iran under the conditions that he has set up through the Europeans and ultimately it's really up to Iran if they want to accept those conditions."
"We would seriously consider going back into the deal, so the reality of this is the president has been very clear about the importance of getting into a diplomatic solution here under the right terms. One thing we are clear about is that the Israelis and the United States are lockstep in understanding what's going on on the ground. I'm in no way suggesting Israel supports the coin in or the government supports going back to the deal but there is complete connectivity between the Israelis and the Americans of what's going on and communications on what's happening in the negotiation."
What's Israel's main object objection to what's being negotiated what do they come to the U.S Administration with saying you know what we hear that you're about to sign a deal but it shouldn't happen because.. what are their reasons?
Nides: "You just live in this neighborhood, this is a very complicated neighborhood, and I have enormous respect for the Israelis and the defense established to understand their anxieties it's not just about the Iranian regime it's about their proxies and if you ask Israel, they are obviously concerned about Iran getting to break out and ultimately having the technology to put the components onto a missile, that's obvious."
"But they're also quite concerned about the proxies and that's Hezbollah in Syria, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. They have angst about that which we share with them so listen, their concerns are legitimate. I would be the first one to suggest or not there is no perfect deal here folks, the important part of this is we believe under the right conditions to slow this program down is in the national security interests of Israel and the region and that's we're trying to strive for if the conditions are met."
Full interview available in link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_wzmBp2wrA&ab_channel=themedialine
The story by Mohammad al-Kassim was reprinted with permission from The Media Line.