Ya’alon: Biden should ‘rehabilitate’ the Iran sanctions coalition

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Former Israeli Defense Minister and IDF Chief of General Staff Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon called for the Biden administration to reconstitute a pressure campaign against Iran, including bringing together a coalition of countries to enforce sanctions. Speaking to Jewish Insider’s “Limited Liability Podcast,” Ya’alon said the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran was a mistake, but not one that can’t be reversed.

“I call to rehabilitate the coalition. I call [on] the Biden administration: Let’s try to build again such a coalition by bringing all the elements, to include Russia and China,” Ya’alon said, while admitting the challenges in realigning with increasingly contentious adversaries. “I don’t ignore it. China has signed a strategic economic agreement with Iran for 25 years, but it is not the [lost cause].”

Ya’alon described how he and then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — at then-President Barack Obama’s request — convinced Moscow and Beijing to join the sanctions coalition. “After the U.N. Security Council Resolution [1929 passed in June, 2010], having a coalition led by the United States, not just on the United Nations [overall], [the sanctions] had become successful in 2012. The feeling in Tehran was that they [had] to make a decision whether to go on with their activities, or to survive as a regime. The choice was clear for me, survivability.”

Despite the pressure on the Iranians, Ya’alon said, the United States committed a “historic missed opportunity” by not pressuring the regime further, noting that the Obama administration could have pressed for Iran to dismantle its centrifuges, forfeit more uranium and end its missile-development program.

“The problem in the engagement between the P-5+1 [world powers negotiating the 2015 agreement] and the Iranian regime, approaching 2016, to my mind, was an American political clock,” he said on the podcast. “The Obama administration at the time, after almost three years of political engagement… seemed to be in a hurry because of the elections,” Ya’alon added of the administration’s attempts to seal the deal before the end of Obama’s second term.

Still, Ya’alon considered the withdrawal a mistake. “Because of the withdrawal from the JCPOA, now the Iranians are close to the ability, first of all, to have enriched uranium in a capacity to produce a bomb,” he argued. “Because of the withdrawal, the U.S. administration destroyed a coalition, the P5+1; they are not on board.”

Source » jewishinsider

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