Sunday, 28 Feb 2021 - 16 of Adar, 5781
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Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State: the U.S. would enter a new deal with Iran ‘if there was a longer and stronger agreement’

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“If Iran comes back into compliance we would too,” said Anthony Blinken during a confirmation hearing in the foreign affairs Senate committee. “But we would use that as a platform with our allies and partners who would once again, be on the same side with us, to seek a longer and stronger agreement,’’ he added.

During the confirmation hearing, Blinken also threw his support behind a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but said he doubted near-term prospects for such a deal.

He said that the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security is ‘’sacrosanct’’ and praised the Abraham Accords.

US President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the new administration would enter a new deal with Iran if there was a “longer and stronger agreement.”

“If Iran comes back into compliance we would too,” he said during a confirmation hearing. “But we would use that as a platform with our allies and partners who would once again, be on the same side with us, to seek a longer and stronger agreement,’’ he added.

Blinken also noted that the upcoming administration would be “committed to the proposition that Iran will not acquire a nuclear weapon.”

“Iran, with a nuclear weapon or on a threshold of having one would be Iran that is even more dangerous than it already is when it comes to all of the other malicious activities that it has engaged in, whether it is support for terrorism; whether it is fueling and feeding its proxies; whether it is destabilizing the region,” said Blinken, who served as both Deputy Secretary of State and Deputy National Security Adviser during the Obama administration,

He said it would take only three to four months for Tehran to produce enough nuclear material to build a weapon, as opposed to “over a year” under the Iran deal.

On Monday, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said that the country was producing almost 500 grams of uranium enriched to 20 percent purity per day, after beginning to do so earlier this month at its Fordow nuclear facility and in breach of the 2015 nuclear accord.

The US under President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018 from the Iranian nuclear deal with world powers, citing Iran’s failure to abide by the agreement as well as its widespread ballistic missile program.

During the confirmation hearing, Blinken also threw his support behind a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but said he doubted near-term prospects for such a deal.

“The only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state and to give the Palestinians a state to which they are entitled is through the so-called two-state solution,” he said.

But he added: “I think realistically it’s hard to see near-term prospects for moving forward on that.”

He said that the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security is ‘’sacrosanct’’ and praised the Abraham Accords negotiated by the Trump administration that saw Israel normalize ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, saying such agreements make the region safer. However, he said the Biden administration would “take a hard look at” some of the “commitments” that were made in tandem with those accords.

He appeared to be referencing weapons deals made with the UAE, which was set to receive 50 F-35 advanced fighter jets from the US following the signing of the normalization agreement.

While domestic issues and not foreign policy are expected to prevail in the first 100 days of the Biden administration – coronavirus pandemic, economy and trying to heal the divisions in the American society- Iran will be one issue that will likely come up very soon.

‘’Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hasn waited for Biden’s inauguration to address it. He and his associates have repeated many, many times over the past two months that the US must not return to the 2015 Iran deal,’’ wrote Lahav Harkov in The Jerusalem Post.

 

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