Israel’s minister for settlement affairs warned of war between Israel and Iran if a potential Biden administration returned to the Iran deal.
“Biden has said openly for a long time that he will go back to the nuclear agreement,” Tzachi Hanegbi told the Jerusalem Post. “I see that as something that will lead to a confrontation between Israel and Iran.”
The Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran is widely considered a disaster by the conservative foreign policy establishment. The Trump administration pulled out of the deal in 2018, citing its inability to deter Iran’s nuclear development and failure to discourage Iran’s efforts to destabilize the Middle East through supporting terror groups and militias.
There is reason to speculate that Biden may try to resuscitate the Iran deal if he becomes president. Many top Biden surrogates, such as former Obama national security official Ned Price and Biden foreign policy aide Tony Blinken, have staunchly defended the Iran deal. Price argued that the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was a result of President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the deal and would push the United States and Iran to the “brink of open conflict.”
The Trump administration has taken a hard line against Tehran, enacting a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at isolating Iran financially so that it will come to the table under more favorable circumstances for the United States. Special envoy for Iran Elliott Abrams told the Washington Free Beacon that Iran is in extremely poor economic condition. “A lot of money is tied up in various ways by our sanctions,” Abrams said.
A Biden administration could enable cash-strapped and isolated Iran to regain ground, especially in its nuclear program, a major area of concern for Jerusalem. The Iran deal’s logic from the Obama-Biden years, according to Hanegbi, was “mistaken—and that’s an understatement.”
“If Biden stays with that policy, there will, in the end, be a violent confrontation between Israel and Iran,” Hanegbi concluded.