Foreign Minister Ashkenazi said he expects that Biden will attempt to re-enter the 2015 nuclear deal and that Israel must appropriately adjust its strategy for that possibility.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Israeli government officials are formulating a strategy based on the assumption that U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will re-enter the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, from which President Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018.
Walla! News reported that Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said, in a closed-door meeting with the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, that “we don’t want to be on the outside this time.”
He added that Israel should not repeat its past mistakes, which saw the Jewish State left out of the negotiating room when the Obama administration entered the 2015 Iran deal.
In 2013, when the Obama administration, alongside the U.K, Russia, France, China, and Germany, began negotiations with Iran, the Israeli government vehemently opposed the process.
Israel’s refusal to engage with the U.S. regarding the negotiation process meant that Israel ended up having no say in the deal.
Tensions between Israel and the Obama administration were so high that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 2015 speech to Congress was coordinated via then-House Speaker John Boehner, behind Obama’s back.
According to Walla! Foreign Minister Ashkenazi said he expects that Biden will attempt to re-enter the 2015 nuclear deal, and that Israel must appropriately adjust its strategy for that possibility.
He stressed that Biden’s advisers know that the 2015 deal had weaknesses and loopholes, which hopefully will be corrected this time around.
Last week, Arab government officials told Israel Hayom that Biden’s Iran policy was a major concern for regional leaders.
Speaking to Israel Hayom, a senior Saudi government official called Biden a “a pro-Iranian president who will adopt a conciliatory policy towards Tehran that will endanger the region.”
An Emirati security official said, “There is grave concern that Biden’s cabinet will be made up of Obama’s people, and that the Biden administration will remove sanctions from Tehran.”
Egyptian and Bahraini officials also expressed their concerns about the impact of a Biden presidency on Iranian sanctions.