August 30, 2021
WISE ON THE MIDDLE EAST
Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.
THE HEADLINES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
America is obsessed with the debacle in Afghanistan but there is another story in Washington that also deserves our attention. This past week the new Prime Minister of Israel came to Washington with another hot spot on his mind. Iran.
Here’s the latest.
The US administration appears to recognize that a return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran might not be possible, and as a result is open to Israeli approaches to countering Iran,. This possibility came from a senior member of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s entourage.
The staffer stated on Wednesday evening that the Israeli team’s positions received “significant attention” from the administration, as “they themselves understand that it may be that we find ourselves in a reality without an agreement, and [even] if there is an agreement, there are holes that must be filled.”
The staffer added that the two governments are so closely coordinated on Iran that they often use the same terminology and raise the same questions as they discuss their options if Iran does not return to the original agreement.
Bennett’s government opposes US efforts to return to the Iran nuclear agreement signed in 2015 by the Obama administration and abandoned three years later by former US president Donald Trump. Biden has been seeking a return to the deal, but this has looked increasingly unlikely as Iran has moved further away from its obligations and as a hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, has taken office in Tehran.
Bennett came with four primary goals for the trip: to forge a direct connection and rapport with Biden; to help the US understand the Prime Minister’s approach regarding Iran; to ensure US commitment to replenishing stocks for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system; and to move forward on a visa waiver agreement for Israelis looking to enter the US. All significant objectives.
A staff member indicated Bennett’s team feels that the first day of his trip to Washington was a success. Nice to have a positive note in the midst of the chaos in Afghanistan!
My latest books:
I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II
Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!
by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)
You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.
82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!
You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.
by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)