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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."

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - World

Israel's chief epidemiologist creates diplomatic incident with UAE

Israeli travelers arrive in Dubai. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty Images

A remark by Israel’s chief epidemiologist suggesting the opening of direct flights from Dubai to Tel Aviv had led to COVID-19 deaths in Israel resulted in diplomatic protests from the UAE, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Direct flights were one of the main fruits of the Israel-UAE peace treaty, and around 130,000 Israeli tourists have taken advantage by flying to Dubai since December.

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 2 far-right "America First" activists

The House panel investigating the Capitol riot, from left; Reps. Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Jamie Raskin on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot issued subpoenas Wednesday for far-right leaders Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, who allegedly encouraged followers to go to D.C. and challenge the 2020 election results.

Why it matters: The action underscores the panel's increasing focus on rallies held ahead of the Capitol attack and how extremists were drawn to former President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, per the New York Times.

Democrats fail to change Senate rules to pass voting rights bill

Senate Majority Leader during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats failed Wednesday night to change Senate filibuster rules to pass the voting rights bill, with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voting with Republicans.

The big picture: The failed effort came after Senate Republicans blocked the voting rights measure from coming to a final vote earlier Wednesday.