According to sources inside the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi (Blue&White) said on Wednesday at a closed session of the committee that he believes the Biden administration will endeavor to return the United States to the nuclear agreement with Iran with minor amendments, Reshet Bet radio reported Thursday morning.
Ashkenazi added that Israel should want to be involved in the process of formulating the revised agreement, after having being kept away from the process during the Obama administration. One of Israel’s goals will be to include in the agreement a reference to Iran’s missile program.
According to US media outlets, President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday told French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday that he plans to work with America’s European allies on a unified policy regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The Biden transition team put out a press release following the call from Macron saying Biden “expressed his readiness to work together on global challenges, including security and development in Africa, the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and Iran’s nuclear program.”
On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his administration would make use of every opportunity to lift the US sanctions against Iran.
“Whenever we see that there’s a situation for the lifting of sanctions, we will make use of that,” Rouhani said at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. “Our goal is that cruel sanctions would be lifted.”
In May 2018, the US announced an intention to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA – the Iran nuclear deal), and later imposed several new sanctions against Iran, some of which were condemned by Iran as a violation of the deal. In 2018, the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered the US to stop the sanctions. In response, the US withdrew from two international agreements.
In June 2019, President Trump imposed sanctions on Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his office and those closely affiliated with his access to key financial resources. In July 2019, The US placed sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. In August 2018, French gas and oil conglomerate Total SA officially withdrew from the Iranian South Pars gas field because of sanctions pressure from the US. In June 2020, the US imposed new sanctions on Iran Shipping Lines and its Shanghai-based subsidiary, E-Sail Shipping Company Ltd.
Thousands of individuals and hundreds of companies have been added to US sanctions list against Iran since 2018.
Back at the closed Knesset committee, the Foreign Minister also referred to the effort that Israel is making to get more countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem, and revealed that the Jewish State was willing to pay good money for countries to make the move. Minister Ashkenazi explained that this meant paying for the expenses of moving and maintaining the embassy. He said that moving the Malawi embassy to Jerusalem, for example, would cost Israel four million shekels ($1.2 million).