The Abraham Accords between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, brokered by the Trump administration, have changed the playing field and will make it more challenging for President Joe Biden to justify re-entering the Iran nuclear deal.
In May 2018, former President Donald Trump announced he was pulling out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the U.S., China, France, the United Kingdom and Russia) plus Germany.
“The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen,” Trump said in an official statement at the time, according to The Washington Post.
“In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.”
The JCPOA called for Iran to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for a reduction in economic sanctions against Tehran.
The Trump administration reimposed crippling sanctions, which it continued to increase over the past year.
The Associated Press reported earlier this month that Iran began enriching uranium to the 20 percent level, which is a technical step away from the 90 percent needed for weapons-grade materials — a move in defiance of the JCPOA.
The initiative is an apparent bid to gain leverage to lower the economic sanctions.
Biden has signaled his desire to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal.
The Agence France Presse, via Barron’s, reported that Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday.
Among other topics, the two discussed “their willingness to act together for peace in the Near and Middle East, in particular on the Iranian nuclear issue.”
During his Senate confirmation hearing, Antony Blinken — Biden’s pick for secretary of state — communicated that the new administration would use re-entering the Iran nuclear deal “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.”
— The National (@TheNationalNews) January 20, 2021
However, Blinken added, “We’re a long way from there,” The New York Times reported.
David Rubin, author of “Trump and the Jews,” told The Western Journal that the Abraham Accords will make it more precarious for Biden to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal without causing a significant backlash in the Middle East.
The Persian Gulf states of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalized relations with Israel in September, in deals brokered by the Trump administration.
Trump, through the accords, has “made it more difficult for Biden to reimpose a policy of appeasement towards Iran,” Rubin told The Western Journal.
Rubin, the former mayor of Shiloh in Israel’s West Bank, noted that whereas in 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a lone voice among Middle East leaders speaking out against the problematic deal spearheaded by the Obama administration, now there are multiple nations onboard.
The five Abraham Accords countries “plus Egypt and Jordan and Saudi Arabia, are strongly opposed to the Iranian nuclear program and are strongly opposed to resuming American participation in the Iran deal,” Rubin said.
“So it’s not just going to be Netanyahu opposite Biden on this issue. It’s going to be Netanyahu and all these Arab nations opposite Biden on this issue.”
James Carafano, a national security expert with The Heritage Foundation, said going back into the Iran deal only benefits Tehran.
“To jump back into the deal would put the administration in the weakest position possible and really undermine all we’ve done in the last four years to really box Iran in. They have no money, they’re under pressure everywhere,” he told One America News on Sunday.
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) January 24, 2021
“The Arabs and the Israelis are normalizing relations against Iran. Everything is against them now and literally to jump into the Iran deal would be a lifeline to Iran,” Carafano, a former West Point and U.S. Naval War College professor, added.
“It would be the single most self-destructive act that an incoming administration could make,” Carafano said, that would likely result in increased instability and open the door to greater influence by Russia and China.
Biden seems hell-bent on countermanding every single Trump policy, particularly those that contradict (and even show up) the Obama-Biden stance.
However, Trump’s policy regarding Iran is certainly one decision of many that Biden would do well to keep in place.
Peace in the Middle East is a good thing.
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