Israel, one of the main allies of the United States, made clear its position on a possible return of Joe Biden’s administration to the nuclear agreement with Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a press conference that he hopes the U.S. will not return to the previous agreement.
“I can tell you that I hope that the United States will not go back to the old JCPOA because we believe that that deal paves the way for Iran to have an arsenal of nuclear weapons with international legitimacy,” Netanyahu said.
The Prime Minister’s remarks came during a press briefing with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, following a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that ended 11 days of violence between Israel and the terrorist group.
For his part, Blinken reaffirmed U.S. support for Israel but also said he will continue to pursue Biden’s goal of returning to the Iran nuclear deal, which was negotiated by former President Barack Obama while Biden was Vice President.
The Israeli ambassador in Washington, Gilad Erdan, had already said on Tuesday that Israel will not support the reactivation of the nuclear agreement and stressed that his country defends the application of “crippling sanctions” and a “credible military threat” on Tehran to curb the development of its atomic program.
“If the U.S. returns to the same agreement from which it withdrew it will lose all its leverage,” he said.
Israel and the nuclear agreement
Israel has voiced its opposition to the nuclear agreement since its inception. In April 2015 it noted that the Iran deal threatened the existence of its nation.
In April it became known that Biden is willing to ease sanctions on Iran. According to The Wall Street Journal, Biden would be willing to lift terrorism sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank, state-owned oil companies and other economic sectors such as steel and aluminum.
The proposal to ease sanctions came despite the fact that in April the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, announced that his country had produced the first batch of uranium enriched to a purity of 60%, its highest level to date.
It should be recalled that the nuclear agreement reached with the Obama Administration lifted international sanctions and returned unfrozen Iranian funds, many of which were used to finance terrorism in the region.