Nov 16, 2020 - World

Israeli ambassador says Biden should not return to Iran nuclear deal

Dermer. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Israeli ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer said today the incoming Biden administration would be making a mistake if it returned to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Why it matters: President-elect Biden plans to re-enter the deal if Iran returns to compliance, but he will clearly face opposition from Israel. Dermer is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's closest adviser and his comment reflects Netanyahu’s thinking.

Dermer spoke in a panel together with the ambassadors of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The Bahraini ambassador, who spoke after Dermer, seemed to agree with him.

Why he's saying: Dermer said the Biden administration needs to look at the reality in the Middle East and see how it can continue the process of getting Israel and the Arab world closer together instead of returning to the Iran deal.

  • “Sit with your allies in the region. Talk to us in order to get to a common position on Iran. Not only on the nuclear issue but also about the Iranian aggression in the region. It will put the U.S. in a much better position to deal with Iran," Dermer said.

Where things stand: Biden's team believes President Trump's withdrawal from the Iran deal was a catastrophic mistake, but recognizes that it won't be easy to put the deal back together in a way that can last.

What’s next: At a press conference today, Netanyahu said he would speak with Biden soon. Asked about Trump’s claims that he won the election, Netanyahu said, “we have enough politics of our own here."

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