Washington: (Agencies: 5/7/2009: US Vice-President Joe Biden has hinted the administration will not restrain Israel if it decides on military action to remove any Iranian nuclear threat.
Mr. Biden told ABC television the US could not "dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do".
Mr. Biden also said President Obama’s offer of dialogue with Iran remained on the table.
A senior Iranian official said his country would respond decisively to any attack by Israel on its facilities.
Mr. Obama has given Iran until the end of the year to talk about its nuclear programme, which Iran insists is for energy purposes only.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has indicated Israel would take matters into its own hands if Iran did not show a willingness to negotiate.
Appearing on ABC’s current affairs programme This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked Mr. Biden whether the Israeli position was the right approach.
The vice-president replied: "Israel can determine for itself – it’s a sovereign nation – what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else."
Biden said he was "not going to speculate" on whether or not the United States would grant Israel over flight rights in Iraq to get to Iran, when pressed by Stephanopoulos.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, responded to Mr. Biden’s remarks while on a visit to Tokyo.
Iran would respond "in a very full-scale and very decisive way" to an Israeli attack, he said.
"I think that America and Israel are fully aware what kind of result such a wrong judgment will entail," he said in remarks quoted by AFP news agency.
"Israel showed its military power sufficiently in the 22-day war [in Gaza]. That kind of erroneous judgment poses a threat to the entire Middle Eastern region and the world.