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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Biden won’t re-join Iran deal

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United Nations believes President-elect Joe Biden won’t re-enter the Iran nuclear deal, saying nobody would be “naive enough” to rejoin an accord that has proven to be an abject failure.

Abdallah Al-Mouallimi told Fox News that he doubted President-elect Joe Biden’s administration would pivot from President Trump’s hardline in dealing with the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions.

“No, I think that the Iran nuclear deal has proven its failure to the entire world. And I don’t think that anybody is going to be naive enough to go back to the same deal,” Al-Mouallimi said on “America’s News HQ” on Sunday.

“If there is a new deal in which Saudi Arabia is involved in the discussion and which covers the shortcomings of the previous deal, such as Iran’s hydromantic behavior in the region and the issue of the missiles and the supply of weapons to rebel groups and so forth, then we will be all for it,” he added.

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Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear deal in May 2018 and reimposed tough economic sanctions against Iran.

President Obama brokered the accord in 2015 between Iran and several world powers.

In return for Iran’s reducing its ability to make nuclear weapons, the deal would ease crippling sanctions.

Many Gulf states, including Israel, worried that freeing up funds would allow Iran to continue to bankroll terrorist groups in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Whether Biden would move to re-enter the deal after he takes office in January is unclear but in an op-ed from September the former vice president outlined his thinking on the matter.

He criticized the Trump administration for abandoning close allies still part of the deal and said the president’s pulling out of the agreement has pushed Iran to increase its stockpile of enriched uranium.

“But there is a smart way to be tough on Iran, and there is Trump’s way,” Biden wrote in the piece on CNN.com.

Biden said he would make an “unshakable commitment” that Iran will not acquire nuclear weapons and “will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy.”

“If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations,” Biden said.

He also wrote that he would “push back against Iran’s destabilizing activities” and would work with Israel to ensure it could defend itself against Iran.

Read More at NYPost

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