Sever Plocker
Sever Plocker
Photo: Shem Olam
A uranium enrichment facility in Iran

Israel must have a role in new Iran nuclear talks

Opinion: Despite Netanyahu's support for his political rivals, Biden does not hold grudges and is a friend to Israel who understands its security concerns and needs; all Jerusalem needs to do is present a factual, science-based position

Sever Plocker |
Published: 02.21.21, 23:59
The 2018 decision by Donald Trump administration's to abandon the Iran nuclear deal may have been ideologically sound, but it failed to achieve any practical goals.
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  • Despite the heavy sanctions imposed on it, the Islamic Republic did not give in to Trump's demands. In fact, the official Iranian position hardened.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    העשרת אורניום באיראן
    העשרת אורניום באיראן
    A uranium enrichment facility in Iran
    (Photo: AP)
    It now produces more uranium enriched to almost military grade, has increased its missile capabilities, continues efforts to entrench its forces in Syria and is allowing the Revolutionary Guards their colonial aspirations in the Middle East.
    On the other hand, had Trump not withdrawn from the 2015 internationally brokered agreement with Iran, there would not have been the opportunity that exists now to fix the nuclear deal.
    Before taking office, U.S. President Joe Biden spoke of the need to improve the agreement with Tehran and committed to permanently preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities, ending its missile project and thwarting its the entrenchment efforts in Syria.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    איראן שיגור טילים בליסטיים טיל תרגיל
    איראן שיגור טילים בליסטיים טיל תרגיל
    An Iranian military ballistic missile exercise in January
    (Photo: EPA)
    Iran on its part, presented preconditions for any renewed discussions with the United States, and demanded that all the Trump-imposed sanctions be lifted.
    Biden launched a substantive diplomatic effort to bring the Iranians back into negotiations without lifting sanctions. He has won the support of European partners and even tacit agreement from Russia.
    Tehran's reactions to this move must be seen in the context of the Iranian presidential elections expected to take place this year. The ayatollahs may be expecting the U.S. to back down from its demands, but that is unlikely to happen.
    Biden and his secretary of state Antony Blinken have not harmed Israeli interests by reaching out to Iran, but since any renegotiation of the nuclear deal touches on Israel's very existence, it is imperative that Jerusalem is present for discussions on the matter.
    This would be possible despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's scandalous support of the Republican Party and Trump, if the Israeli government were only wise enough to coordinate with the Democratic president about the best way forward.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    בנימין נתניהו פגישה עם נשיא ארה"ב דונלד טראמפ וושינגטון ארה"ב
    בנימין נתניהו פגישה עם נשיא ארה"ב דונלד טראמפ וושינגטון ארה"ב
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-U.S. President Donald Trump embrace during a meeting at the White House in 2019
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Although he obviously took his time to pick up a phone to talk to Netanyahu, Biden is not one to hold political grudges. He is a true friend to Israel and more than aware of its security concerns and its needs.
    All the president would need from Israel is a coherent, factual and science-based position paper that includes practical steps, and this could easily be prepared by Israel's experts in the field.
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