Biden wants warmer US relations with Israel-hating Iran

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (February 19, 2021) — The Biden administration says it's ready to join talks with Iran and world powers to discuss a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, in a sharp repudiation of former President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” on the terrorist sponsoring Islamic Republic.

The administration also took two steps at the United Nations aimed at restoring policy to what it was before Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018. The combined actions were immediately criticized by Iran hawks and drew concern from Israel, which said it was committed to keeping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Besides signaling Thursday a willingness to talk with Iran, the administration also reversed Trump’s determination that all U.N. sanctions against Iran had been restored. And, it eased stringent restrictions on the domestic travel of Iranian diplomats posted to the United Nations.

The State Department announced the moves following discussions between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his British, French and German counterparts and as Biden prepares to participate, albeit virtually, in his first major international events with world leaders.

The announcement came a day before Biden to speak to leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized democracies and later in the day address the annual Munich Security Conference. He's expected to address the U.S. stance on the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear deal, the war in Afghanistan and the economic and national security challenges posed by Russia and China.

In a statement, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the U.S. would accept an invitation from the European Union to attend a meeting of the participants — the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, along with Iran — in the original nuclear agreement.

In Iran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Friday the Biden administration action meant that the U.S. had acknowledged moves made under Trump “had no legal validity.”

“We agree,” he added, urging the Biden administration to lift U.S. sanctions “imposed, reimposed or re-labeled by Trump. We will then immediately reverse all remedial measures.”

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office expressed worry, saying it believes that “going back to the old agreement will pave Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal.” It said in a statement on Friday that it it remains “committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons" and was in close contact with the United States on the matter.

Meanwhile, at the United Nations, the Biden administration notified the Security Council that it had withdrawn Trump's September 2020 invocation of the so-called snapback mechanism under which it maintained that all U.N sanctions against Iran had been reimposed. Those sanctions included a conventional arms embargo against Iran that had been set to expire.

At the same time, officials said the administration has eased extremely strict limits on the travel of Iranian diplomats accredited to the United Nations. The Trump administration had imposed the severe restrictions, which essentially confined them to their U.N. mission and the U.N. headquarters building in New York.

The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, quickly denounced the steps. “It is concerning the Biden Administration is already making concessions in an apparent attempt to re-enter the flawed Iran deal," he said. “The Trump Administration created leverage for President Biden on Iran — we should not squander that progress.”

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWS BRIEF

FEATURED PODCAST

VOTE IN OUR POLL

The most likely motivation behind a typical ‘Cancel Culture’ activist is…

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  Reports: NY officials altered count of nursing home deaths
By slimmest of margins, Senate takes up $1.9T relief bill
Mississippi gov will sign bill limiting transgender athletes
Alabama governor says mask order ends next month
  Little damage from huge Pacific quake; tsunami threat passes

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Jan. 6 was 'domestic terrorism'? Not even close. The left is exploiting what happened to demonize and cancel the populist right
3 problems at the core of our obsession with 'hate' labeling
13 woke corporations fighting back against Texas mask mandate repeal
Baltimore HS student fails all but 3 classes over 4 years, ranks near top half of class
Tucker Carlson: The occupation of Washington and liberals' deepest fear

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Reports: NY officials altered count of nursing home deaths

NEW YORK (March 5, 2021) — Top aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo altered a state Health Department report to obscure the true number of people killed by COVID-19 in the state's nursing homes, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported late Thursday.