- Netanyahu opposes an Iranian deal.
- Netanyahu, a fierce critic of the JCPOA agreement has asked the Joe Biden administration to keep previous sanctions in place until the Iranian administration agrees to dismantle its nuclear program.
- The Biden team has indicated that it is looking to strike a longer-lasting Iranian deal.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is looking to avoid a clash with US President Joe Biden on matters related to the Iranian deal. This is according to Israeli government officials who spoke with Axios. The prime minister is apparently looking to tone down abrasive sentiments that may cause problems when dealing with the new administration.
The Biden team differs significantly from the Trump clique. It’s made up of a significant number of former Obama administration officials.
Notably, Biden served as Vice President in Barack Obama’s government when relations with the Netanyahu leadership were at near breakdown. The rift between the two administrations was largely exacerbated by differing viewpoints on Middle East matters.
At one point, Netanyahu was invited to the Congress to give a speech by Republicans without the president’s knowledge. The snub greatly highlighted the bilateral disharmony. Subsequently, Obama omitted Israel’s considerations when negotiating the Iranian deal.
The pact allowed Iran to continue with its nuclear program while adhering to uranium enrichment restrictions. The Obama administration basically gave Iran access to some of its previously embargoed assets and funds, a move that greatly incensed Israel.
The Iran sanctions were reimposed in 2018 after the Trump administration walked out of the deal.
It is, however, worth noting that unlike Obama, US President Joe Biden has already indicated that he will consult with Israeli officials when renegotiating with Iran.
This contrasts with Obama’s approach of completely ignoring Israel in the deal. That said, there are still evident complications to be ironed out as President Joe Biden has yet to talk to Netanyahu. There are also no announced plans pointing to a meeting.
A Long-Lasting Deal
The Biden team has indicated that it is looking to strike a longer-lasting Iranian deal with appropriate structures and partners. Aspects related to Iran’s current ballistic missile program and its proxy-group operations in the Middle East are set to be included.
Netanyahu, a fierce critic of the JCPOA agreement has asked the Joe Biden administration to keep previous sanctions in place until the Iranian administration agrees to dismantle its nuclear program.
Tensions Between Iran and Israel
There has been an escalation of hostile rhetoric between Tel Aviv and Tehran in recent weeks due to the change in governance in the US which may lead to a switch in allegiances and destabilize the current power dynamics in the Middle East.
A recent statement by General Aviv Kochavi, the Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, sparked an exchange of words with Iran. This is after he announced that the IDF was working on a plan to take out Iran’s nuclear program as a last line of defense.
Mahmoud Vaezi, the Chief of Staff of the President of Iran, responded to the threats, by dismissing them as psychological warfare.
He expressed optimism that the Biden administration will see through Israel’s false narrative about Iran.
“Our people and the people of the region both are familiar with the rhetoric of the Zionist regime’s officials. They talk more and seek psychological warfare, and they have virtually no plan and no ability to do so.
I think the new US administration is independent like other countries,” he told reporters on Wednesday.