Troubling signs from US require firm stand on Iran

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President-elect Joe Biden (Photo: AFP).

The Biden administration’s future policymakers are known
for their soft stance on Iran, which does not bode well.

Many may consider Israel “the 51st state”, but the truth is, domestic American policy is none of our concern. Americans have voted and we, as Israelis, have no business opining on whether they are right or wrong.

Israeli officials, however, are duty-bound to consider the ramifications to future US policies.

The 2 new Senators from Georgia are not friends of Israel by any measure. Senator-elect Jon Ossoff routinely shares anti-Israeli articles from websites that promote the boycott of Israel. And Senator-elect Raphael Warnock, for his part, has in the past compared Israel’s security fence to the Berlin Wall, and Israeli policy in Judea and Samaria to apartheid and Nazism.

This in itself would not be worrisome – but these two Senators have tipped the balance in the Democrats’ favor. Both the House and the Senate are in Democrat control, with vociferous radical left-wing lawmakers on the ascendancy.

US President-elect Joe Biden’s series of White House nominations are equally troubling.

Choosing Antony Blinken as secretary of state may portray Biden as opting for a “moderate line”, but many future administration officials have a history of making troubling statements.

Take for example, National Security Adviser-designate Jack Sullivan, who thinks Iran should be appeased and is no more critical of Tehran’s human rights violations than of Saudi Arabia’s.

Sullivan played a key role in the unfortunate nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, as did Wendy Sherman, who headed the US team for talks five years ago and was recently appointed Under-Secretary of State by Joe Biden.

Germany, Britain, and France have condemned the Iranian provocation of raising uranium enrichment levels to 20% and the use of advanced centrifuges, but no future Biden administration official did that, including Blinken and Sherman, who are both Jewish.

This type of silence before Biden takes office on Jan. 20 does not necessarily imply tacit consent in the future. But it is obvious that Iran celebrated Biden’s win because it sees him and his team as soft. This is also why it’s already trying to intimidate the incoming administration – so that Biden goes easy on the ayatollahs when he takes office.

The Institute for National Security Studies recommended Wednesday that Israel “maintain a viable offensive option vis-à-vis Iran and reach understandings with the United States on the criteria for military action seeking to thwart Iran’s road to a nuclear weapon.”

It is clear that the overall trend does not bode well, neither for Israel, nor for the Gulf states, nor indeed for the entire Middle East – and beyond.

(Israel Hayom).

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