U.S. Envoy Hints Israel Would Chart Its Own Course Over Iran Amid Biden Divergence

'We will not be able to be part of such a process if the new administration returns to that deal,' Ambassador Gilad Erdan says

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Gilad Erdan as Israel's Interior Ministry, 2015
Gilad Erdan as Israel's Interior Ministry, 2015Credit: Emil Salman
Reuters
Reuters

Israel held out the possibility on Tuesday it would not engage with U.S. President Joe Biden on strategy regarding the Iranian nuclear programme if he returns to a 2015 deal with Tehran.

The remarks by Israel's envoy to Washington came at a touchy juncture for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Up for re-election next month, he has revived tough rhetoric on Iran while not yet having any direct communication with Biden.

The new administration has said it wants a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal - which former President Donald Trump quit, restoring sanctions on Tehran - if the Iranians recommit to their own obligations. Washington has also said it wants to confer with allies in the Middle East about such moves.

"We will not be able to be part of such a process if the new administration returns to that deal," Ambassador Gilad Erdan told Israel's Army Radio.

Netanyahu aides have privately questioned whether engaging with U.S. counterparts might backfire, for Israel, by falsely signalling its consent for any new deal that it still opposes.

Israel was not a party to the 2015 deal. It has powerful advocates within the U.S. Congress, however, and Netanyahu's threats to take unilateral military action on Iran if he deems diplomacy a dead end also figure into big-power planning.

"We think that if the United States returns to the same accord that it already withdrew from, all its leverage will be lost," Erdan said.

"Essentially, the moment it removes the sanctions the Iranians will have no real incentive to negotiate and reach a deal that is truly capable of ruling out nuclear capabilities."

The Biden administration has said it wants to strengthen and lengthen constraints on Iran, which denies seeking nuclear arms.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op