Plunging squarely into one of the most sensitive issues in the Middle East, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. suggested on Sunday that the United States would not stand in the way of Israeli military action aimed at the Iranian nuclear program.

The United States, Mr. Biden said in an interview broadcast on ABC’s “This Week,” “cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do.”

“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,” he said, in an interview taped in Baghdad at the end of a visit there.

Whole story here; and here is the transcript. But heaven forbid the Honduran government should depose a lawbreaking president! As ever with Biden, it’s hard to say how much of this is just the typical logorrhoea, so it’s probably best to wait for confirmation from more careful mouths, all the while pondering in our hearts the mysterious standards according to which the sovereign nations are separated from the not-so-sovereign ones.

Update: Apparently the Saudis have promised to turn a blind eye, too.

Update 2: My goodness, this administration is almost as competent as the previous one:

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was concerned about the unintended consequences of an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

That’s a sharp departure from comments that Vice President Joe Biden made earlier today.

”I have been for some time been concerned about any strike on Iran. I worry that it would be very destabilizing not just in and of itself, but the unintended consequences of a strike like that,” Mullen said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Update 3: Gregory Djerejian has a more charitable interpretation of Biden’s (unquestionably clumsy) remarks, as well as a link to a Haaretz article disputing the report of Saudi clearance for an Israeli attack.