Biden re-adopting Obama’s Iran policy worries Israel
Islam News – By Rayan Haidar – The most essential thing right now, yet absolutely urgent, for Israel’s security agencies is for the Biden administration to dialogue with them and include them over its future Iran policy, Al-Monitor stated. However, such a channel has not been opened with the president-elect’s office and Israel, prompting grave concern in Tel Aviv.
US sanctions have exacerbated Iran’s economic downturn to the point of near bankruptcy, and its international standing is not what it was, either. Its progress in the military-security arena has also taken some touch knocks.
Iran has three overarching goals in this regard: Its nuclear program, its precision missile program and its continued expansion throughout the Middle East. Two out of three have been dealt with over the past year, approaching total knockout.
The legendary commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Al-Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, was assassinated by the Americans in January 2020, and the mastermind behind Iran’s nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was also assassinated by the Israelis almost a month ago, according to foreign media reports.
Both Soleimani and Fakhrizadeh were irreplaceable strategic assets.
Since Soleimani’s assassination, Western intelligence has detected an Iranian pullback from various arenas and difficulty in maintaining its hold on parts of Iraq and Syria.
Almost the same is true of Iran’s nuclear program. A senior Israeli security official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “It’s not that their nuclear program will be shut down because of his death, but it will be unable to proceed at the speed they want. He was a repository of rare knowledge and there is no one in Iran of his caliber to replace him.”
Israel, on the other hand, is looking ahead at Biden’s administration with concern, shared by almost all its security agencies from the top echelons of the Israel Defense Forces to Military Intelligence and the Mossad.
The anxiety is two-fold.
First is Biden’s possible return to the Iran policy adopted by former President Barack Obama, especially a fast-paced return to the nuclear agreement he forged in 2015. Second — and just as troubling — is the fact that up to now Biden’s people have not established an intimate, intensive dialogue channel with the Israelis that would allow them to weigh in on this existential threat as the new administration shapes its policy.
An Israeli intelligence source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “We want to update the Americans and illustrate the rare opportunity that the United States now has to take advantage of Iran’s situation.”
Israel’s security agencies would give a lot for an opportunity to change the next administration’s views on Iran.
Israel believes the new administration is also keen to wipe out as quickly and effectively as possible all signs of Trump’s legacy. Such a move in terms of the US policy on Iran would be disastrous, according to high-level Israeli defense officials. In the end, Israel’s grave concerns manifest more clearly by the fact they believe a discrete, indirect exchange of messages is already underway — between Washington and Tehran. And their eager insistence for demanding to be a part of the Iran policy is in purpose to exchange intelligence assessments that would allow Israel to wield influence on US policy.