Kushner: Biden should maintain tough stance on Iran, build on Arab-Israeli peace deals

Jared Kushner advises the Biden administration to maintain a “strong hand” in dealing with Iran and to exploit Trump’s progress in the Middle East.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and special envoy to the Middle East, Jared Kushner, made his first public statement Monday since the previous administration left the White House, advising President Joe Biden’s administration to be resolute in negotiations with Iran.

In a column in the Wall Street Journal, Kushner called on the Biden administration not to surrender to the Iranians in negotiations over a proposed return to the Iran nuclear deal. He said Biden had been given a strong position with which to deal with Tehran.

Iran was at the heart of Kushner’s comments, more specifically the negotiations on returning to the 2015 nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew in favor of harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

“The Biden administration called Iran’s bluff,” Kushner wrote. “It revealed to the Europeans that the JCPOA is dead and only a new framework can bring stability for the future. When Iran asked for a reward merely for initiating negotiations, President Biden did the right thing and refused.”

Kushner argues that thanks to the Trump administration’s policies, the United States has a “strong hand” in negotiating with Iran. He called on the Biden administration to be patient and insist that any future agreement include a genuine oversight mechanism to ensure Iran does not develop nuclear weapons.

The former adviser explained that the neutralization of the Iranian threat would allow the countries of the region to cut their military budgets, leading to economic prosperity and new opportunities.

“The table is set. If it is smart, the Biden administration will seize this historic opportunity to unleash the Middle East’s potential, keep America safe, and help the region turn the page on a generation of conflict and instability,” Kushner wrote.

Kushner also emphasized the success of the Abraham Accords in breaking the paradigm that the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, which he called “nothing more than a real-estate dispute between Israelis and Palestinians that need not hold up Israel’s relations with the broader Arab world.”

“It would be a mistake not to build on the progress in the Middle East. Eliminating the ISIS caliphate and bringing about six peace agreements — between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, Morocco and Kosovo, plus uniting the Gulf Cooperation Council — has changed the paradigm,” Kushner said.

“As more Muslims visit Israel through Dubai, images are populating on social media of Jews and Muslims proudly standing together,” he said. “More important, Muslims are posting pictures of peaceful visits to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, blowing a hole in the propaganda that the holy site is under attack and Israelis prevent Muslims from praying there.”

“Every time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweets something positive in Arabic about an Arab leader, it reinforces that Israel is rooting for the success of the Arab world,” Kushner noted.