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In apparent message to Biden, Netanyahu warns against returning to Iran nuclear deal

Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in 2016. (Photo: Debbie Hill/REUTERS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons and that the world must stop Iran’s “aggressive behavior, including its support for terror.”

“There can be no going back to the previous nuclear agreement. We must stick to an uncompromising policy of ensuring that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said during a state memorial ceremony for Paula and David Ben-Gurion, the country's first prime minister.

His message has been widely viewed as a warning to Joe Biden, who — barring any legal triumph by President Donald Trump — will take office as U.S. president on Jan. 20. Biden, and Kamala Harris who would be vice president, both have said the United States should rejoin the deal.

“Thanks to our determined stand against the 'nuclearization' of Iran, and to our opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran, many Arab countries have fundamentally changed their approach to Israel,” Netanyahu said.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama brokered the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal in 2018 and instead started placing crippling sanctions on Iran.

While in Israel last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced his administration’s new sanctions on Iran.

“Our policies don’t change. Our duty doesn’t change. My responsibilities don’t change,” Pompeo said today in the United Arab Emirates. “I still have an obligation — every hour, every minute — to defend the American people and to keep them foremost in our efforts, and we’ll do that. We’ll do that to the very last minute.”

A large portion of the Trump administration’s strategy in the region was to isolate Iran as “the central threat inside the region.”

“It’ll be our policy until our time is complete,” he said.

Amos Hochstein, a former aide of Biden’s, told Israel’s Channel 12 that rejoining the nuclear deal was something “high on his agenda” and that Biden would do so shortly after taking office.

Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS

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