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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.

2 hours ago - World

U.K. sends patrol ships to British island amid fishing dispute with France

The HMS Tamar, one of the two ships deployed to Jersey. Photo: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it has deployed two Royal Navy patrol vessels to the island of Jersey "as a precautionary measure," as tensions over fishing rights escalate with France.

Why it matters: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement the government took the action to protect Jersey against threats of "a blockade" of French fishing boats at the island, which is off the coast of northwest France.

Social media's "in-kind contribution to Biden"

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Facebook's continued suspension of Donald Trump's account extends the silencing of Joe Biden's most potent critic — and the current president's control over the national political narrative into his second 100 days.

Why it matters: Biden has been able to successfully focus on COVID-19 relief, his infrastructure plan and fielding his new administration, in part, because Trump hasn't been able to shake his social media muzzle and bray about the migration crisis or any White House misstep.