Biden nuclear deal adds ‘legitimacy’ to Iran’s activities, could offer Russia sanctions relief: diplomats

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The Biden administration’s attempt to hammer out a new Iran nuclear deal threatenss to provide “legitimacy” for Iran’s nuclear activity and a back door for Russia to avoid the harshest effects of sanctions, Middle Eastern diplomats say.

Danny Danon, Israel’s former ambassador to the UN, told Fox News Digital that the deal adds “legitimacy” to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“I think it would be a mistake to sign this deal,” Danon said. “It’s better not to have a deal and be aware of the threat and the problem.”

Iran and the United States agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement, in 2015 under President Obama’s administration. President Trump backed out of the plan in 2018 and promised to negotiate a better deal, but President Biden had to take the lead on any such new deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said his country is not bound by any agreement between the United States and Iran, and the Biden administration’s approach to negotiations, which began in early 2021, has troubled some allies – most recently regarding Russia’s continued involvement as Moscow maintains its invasion of Ukraine.

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“Anyone in the United States sanctions Russia, but on the other hand, they’re working very closely with them on the Iran deal,” Danon noted.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has threatened to stall talks with Iran after the US announced its first round of sanctions when he argued the sanctions did not apply to trade and investment Russians with Iran.

The backdoor relief would continue to lessen the impact of Western sanctions, which this week saw their impact wane as Russia’s economy regained most of its lost value – although some experts believe the stabilization will be temporary.

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Another problem to be solved is that the agreement largely resembles the agreement Obama made with Iran. The same deal won’t have the same effect as Iran changed at that time, a Middle East diplomat told Fox News Digital. Iran resumed uranium enrichment soon after Trump pulled out of the deal, along with reviving research and development of advanced centrifuges and expanding its nuclear fuel stockpile.

“On paper it’s the same deal, but in reality it’s a weaker deal,” the diplomat said. “It’s the same deal, but it hits a stronger, more developed Iran.”

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The new deal is therefore unlikely to discourage Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Danon believes it is likely that a deal would one day lead Iran to suddenly announce a nuclear test, which would threaten the stability and security of Israel and “moderate” Arab countries in the region.

Israel has also expressed concern that a new deal will provide money that will go directly to the Houthis and fund attacks in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries.

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“I think the administration wants to declare that they have solved the problem, but they will not solve anything,” Danon argued.

“And I think it’s better that the eyes of the world be on what’s happening in Iran with sanctions and pressure, that they sign an agreement that will actually allow them to continue their activities and enjoy the legitimacy of the world.”

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