Israel’s former UN envoy: Major concern over Biden re-entering Iran nuclear deal

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Israel’s former UN envoy: Major concern over Biden re-entering Iran nuclear deal

Speaking on the Jewish News Podcast, Danny Danon said Israel is worried a Democrat administration would want to re-negotiate the agreement

Danny Danon at the United Nations representing Israel
Danny Danon at the United Nations representing Israel

Israel’s former UN ambassador has said Jerusalem’s central concern about the prospect of a Joe Biden presidency is his wish to re-enter nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Speaking on a Jewish News podcast, Danny Danon said if Biden were to start talking to Iran again, it would push Israel towards more regional alliances with Arab states who shared Jerusalem’s fears.

“For us, the major issue is Iran,” he told the podcast’s presenter Phil Dave. “Mr Biden said very clearly that he would re-enter the JCPOA [Iran nuclear deal]. That is a major change from the policy of Trump’s administration.

“Here in Israel we have to recalculate and get ready for a new era. The way we see it, this is a miserable agreement, breached many times by the Iranians. We were against it from the beginning.

“Not only us but many leaders of moderate Arab countries in the Middle East would have to think about what they do if the US changes course so dramatically. They are very worried about the Iranian nuclear race, and they don’t have the capabilities we have in terms of defence systems.”

Danon, who is a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, said he thought Arab states worried about Tehran’s intentions may at first try to convince Biden “not to engage with Iran, not to re-enter the JCPOA”.

However, he added: “If it happens, you will see interesting alliances in the region, with the bond between Israel and those countries becoming even stronger.”

While acknowledging Biden as a “charming” man who cares about Israel, Danon said Israel wanted to see if a Biden White House would bring back some members of Barack Obama’s team.

“We have some bad memories from those players,” he said. “The way they treated our prime minister [Netanyahu], the way they tried to push a resolution in the Security Council before he left office, we don’t have good memories, so it will be interesting to see who is around Biden if he enters the White House.”

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