The career diplomat who has been picked to serve as secretary of state under presumptive President-elect Joe Biden is a leading advocate for the U.S. to rejoin the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, according to published reports.
The former vice president is planning to nominate Antony Blinken as his secretary of state, according to Politico. Blinken, a longtime Biden aide from Biden’s days in the Senate, has also been an analyst on CNN.
The report also said Biden will name Jake Sullivan — who played a key role in crafting the Iran deal under former President Barack Obama — as his national security adviser.
Both come with Clinton connections. Blinken served on the National Security Council during the administration of former President Bill Clinton, and Sullivan was an aide to Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state and worked in her 2016 campaign for president.
Jake Sullivan was instrumental in laying the foundation for the Iran nuclear deal when Hillary was SoS. Tony Blinken goes back to the Clinton administration and is a spectacular choice in this role.
— Phyllis Shabad (@PhyllisShabad) November 23, 2020
Blinken has been a leading advocate for the United States to return to the Iran nuclear deal. https://t.co/Ck5NhaMUCt
— Iran Analytic (@IranAnalytic) November 23, 2020
Jake Sullivan has apparently been chosen by @JoeBiden to be the next National Security Adviser. A clear signal to #Iran. He played a key role during the #Obama administration to reach the #IranDeal #JCPOA. He’s a young, serious and respected one. https://t.co/lkeuH2iy3E
— Antoine Mariotti (@antoinemariotti) November 23, 2020
In June 2011, Jake Sullivan needed to send @HillaryClinton a classified document. Secure line did not work so HRC asked him to just rip off the part of the page with the classified marking and to fax it nonsecure.
Report says JS to be named Biden’s Nat Security Advisor. pic.twitter.com/OIZPpEiH4c
— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) November 23, 2020
Biden has indicated that in foreign affairs, he plans to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, continue U.S. membership in the World Health Organization and work to revive the Iran nuclear deal, from which President Donald Trump withdrew.
Blinken is an advocate of multilateral alliances, according to The New York Times.
“Simply put, the big problems that we face as a country and as a planet, whether it’s climate change, whether it’s a pandemic, whether it’s the spread of bad weapons — to state the obvious, none of these have unilateral solutions,” he said in July. “Even a country as powerful as the United States can’t handle them alone.”
In August, Blinken said that if Biden was elected, the Democrat would “seek to build on the nuclear deal and to make it longer and stronger if Iran returns to strict compliance,” according to The Jerusalem Post.
“And then, we would be in a position to use our renewed commitment to diplomacy, to work with our allies, to strengthen and lengthen it — but also we’d be in a much better position to effectively push back against Iran’s other destabilizing activities, because we would once again be united with our partners instead of isolated from them,” he said.
“There’s a lot of irony in what I’m hearing from the [Trump] administration, blaming the Obama-Biden administration for the sunset of the conventional arms restrictions, because much of that was actually put in place by our administration in the first place,” Blinken said. “And we could have probably extended those prohibitions from inside the deal through a unified front with our allies.”
He has gone on social media to defend the Iran deal and oppose Trump’s action to repudiate it.
By blowing up up the Iran nuclear deal President Trump puts us on a collision course with Iran and our closest allies….
— Antony Blinken (@ABlinken) May 8, 2018
Media reports also said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, described as a veteran diplomat, will be nominated as ambassador to the United Nations.
She comes with the backing of Wendy Sherman, a lead negotiator of the Iran nuclear deal.
I have worked with @ABlinken and w/ Linda Thomas-Greenfield since the Clinton years. What a perfect team – intellect, humanity, decency, care for others, patriots, wisdom. With brilliant Jake Sullivan NSA, US back better.
— Wendy R. Sherman (@wendyrsherman) November 23, 2020
In its reporting on Blinken’s nomination, which is expected to be announced Tuesday, The Washington Post also noted that “During the Obama administration, he advocated for American action in Syria.”
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