US president-elect Joe Biden believes that Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon poses a “direct national security threat” to the United States, the New York Times reported.
In an interview with Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Biden expressed willingness to return the US to a new round of negotiations to seek to lengthen the duration of the restrictions on Iran’s production of fissile material as well as to address Tehran’s malign regional activities in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
Ideally, the Biden team would like to see that follow-on negotiation include not only the original signatories to the nuclear deal but also Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Friedman asked him whether he stood by his views on the Iran nuclear deal that he articulated in a Sept. 13 essay on CNN.com. He answered, “It’s going to be hard, but yeah.”
He had written that “if Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations” and lift the sanctions on Iran that Donald Trump imposed.
Biden and his advisers insist that America’s overwhelming national interest is to get Iran’s nuclear program back under control and fully inspected. In their view, Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon poses a direct national security threat to the United States and to the global nuclear weapons control regime, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
“Look, there’s a lot of talk about precision missiles and all range of other things that are destabilizing the region,” Biden said. But the fact is, “the best way to achieve getting some stability in the region” is to deal “with the nuclear program.”