CNN reported on Tuesday that President Joe Biden condemned the Iranian-backed terror group Hamas for a brutal assault on Israel that saw some Americans being taken hostage.
Yet despite Biden's strong words, there are still no signs that he intends to abandon a controversial nuclear deal with Iran.
"It’s abhorrent," the president was quoted as saying of the attack which has resulted in an Israeli death toll of at least 1,200 people.
Powerful speech by 🇺🇸 President Biden calling out the sheer evil of Hamas: raping women, slaughtering families, killing babies. He fully supported Israel's right to defend itself from ISIS-like terrorists. “These atrocities are sickening. We're with Israel. Just make no mistake.” pic.twitter.com/dHPsae0ZiT
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) October 10, 2023
"The brutality of Hamas' bloodthirstiness brings to mind the worst rampages of ISIS – this is terrorism, but sadly, for the Jewish people it’s not new," Biden continued.
"This attack has brought to the surface painful memories and the scars left by millennia of anti-Semitism and genocide of the Jewish people, so in this moment, we must be crystal clear, we stand with Israel," he stressed.
While Biden said that 14 American citizens are believed to have been kidnapped, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan later put the number at "20 or more."
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby also discussed the issue of Americans being held in the Gaza Strip with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.
National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby speaks to CNN's @wolfblitzer on @CNNSitRoom about efforts to bring home any Americans caught in the Middle East. pic.twitter.com/1TvMebkGHj
— CNN (@CNN) October 10, 2023
"It’s early days right now, and we don’t have a lot of information, Wolf, about where they are and what condition they’re being held, if they’re being moved around, and we have to remember, this is an active war zone, which makes any hostage recovery effort that much more difficult," Kirby told Blitzer.
"We’re obviously going to be developing options, looking at possibilities, how we can get them back, how we can get them back with their families," Kirby added.
Interestingly, Fox News reported on Wednesday that the Biden administration "has remained silent" on whether relations with Iran will change following a claim by Hamas that the country helped plan its recent attack.
Fox News recalled how then-President Barack Obama helped negotiate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an agreement under which Iran would limit some of its nuclear activities and submit to international inspections in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
While former President Donald Trump would abrogate the agreement in 2018, his successor has attempted to create a new deal.