- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 9, 2016

In the wake of Iran’s latest ballistic missile test, Vice President Joseph R. Biden said Wednesday in Israel that the Obama administration will hold Tehran accountable if it breaks a nuclear accord with the U.S. and other world powers.

“A nuclear-armed Iran is an absolutely unacceptable threat to Israel, to the region and the United States,” Mr. Biden after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “If in fact they break the deal, we will act.”

Iran said it tested multiple missiles Tuesday in what officials said was a display of “deterrent power,” defying U.S. sanctions imposed earlier this year aimed at disrupting the missile program. White House officials said the tests don’t violate Iran’s nuclear deal, but could violate a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Mr. Biden also condemned a series of terrorist attacks by Palestinians in Israel that have occurred during his visit, including the stabbing death of an American veteran. Taylor Force, 28, a West Point graduate and a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, was killed while touring Israel as part of a student trip sponsored by Nashville’s Vanderbilt University.

The vice president said one of the attacks occurred near the restaurant where his wife, Jill, and grandchildren were dining, saying it was a reminder how terror can strike “anywhere at any time.”

“Let me say in no uncertain terms: The United States of America condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn,” Mr. Biden said in apparent reference to Palestinian officials. “This cannot be viewed by civilized leaders as an appropriate way in which to behave. … It’s just not tolerable in the 21st century.”

Mr. Netanyahu also criticized Palestinian authorities for failing to condemn the terror attacks, criticizing how President Mahmoud Abbas’ political party glorified an assailant as a “hero.”

“This is wrong and this failure to condemn terrorism should be condemned itself by everybody in the international community,” the Israeli leader said at a joint press conference as violence continued unabated Wednesday morning.

Israel’s military said two assailants opened fire Wednesday near a public bus in Jerusalem, seriously injuring one person in the third attack to hit the city in 24 hours. Both attackers later were shot dead outside Jerusalem’s old city.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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