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Haley: Biden’s Iran Policies Could Be ‘Devastating’ 
Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon during their diplomatic terms. (Courtesy)

Haley: Biden’s Iran Policies Could Be ‘Devastating’ 

Former US ambassador to the UN talks Iran, Abraham Accords and much more during Israel’s DiploTech Global Summit

The United States’ former ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told a high-level gathering that it would be “devastating and a massive step backwards” for President-elect Joe Biden to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal.

Haley made her remarks at the first DiploTech Global Summit, a virtual conference headlined by Haley and Israel’s former UN ambassador Danny Danon, on Wednesday in Tel Aviv, featuring heads of states, diplomats and tech sector leaders who discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the post-pandemic world.

During the convention, innovators and entrepreneurs from leading Israeli tech companies presented their latest envelope-pushing capabilities, while policy makers laid out their views as to how the world can emerge from the global coronavirus crisis.

While much of the evening was dedicated to the issues of coronavirus and innovation, it was Haley’s candid remarks regarding a nuclear Iran and the latest US elections that drew most of the attention.

“We should not give them money and concessions,” Haley said of Iran in a one-on-one conversation with Danon, noting that the Islamic Republic has “no intention to bring peace to the Middle East. They’ve never wanted it … It’s in the culture of who they are. The Iranian people want [peace] but the regime does not want it.”

Haley specifically called out John Kerry, who was recently appointed to serve as Biden’s special envoy for climate, and Susan Rice, the former US ambassador to the UN and later national security advisor under President Barack Obama, who Haley said is “rumored” to be headed for a senior policy role in the incoming administration.

“With that going, it’s not going well for what may be the future of another Iran deal,” she warned.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal, was negotiated in 2015 between Iran, the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and Germany. It called for the temporary halting of uranium enrichment by Tehran in return for limited sanctions relief. In 2018, President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal, leading to reciprocal violations of the agreement by Iran several months later.

“You were giving Iran a head start to continue doing what they are doing,” Haley said of Obama’s Iran policy. “On top of that they were violating multiple UN resolutions. They were supporting terrorism, selling arms to Houthis and so all we said was that the Iran deal, whether in good faith or not, it wasn’t working,” she said of the Trump Administration’s decision to leave the agreement.

The Iranians now “are completely at their knees,” she said, adding that they will “come back to the negotiation table because they have no choice.”

 The Arab countries now want to normalize relations with Israel. They now know that a partnership with Israel is good for them. That a partnership with Israel will bring additional technology, additional innovation, additional partnerships in the fight against Iran and terrorism, and additional friends

Considered a close ally of President Trump and one of the more popular candidates for the Republican party’s 2024 presidential nomination, Haley lauded the latest breakthrough in the Middle East, calling the Abraham Accords signed between Israel and four Arab nations “fantastic,” “amazing” and “miraculous.”

“The Arab countries now want to normalize relations with Israel. They now know that a partnership with Israel is good for them. That a partnership with Israel will bring additional technology, additional innovation, additional partnerships in the fight against Iran and terrorism, and additional friends,” she said, adding that Biden “can’t take that away.”

 Last week, President Trump announced Morocco would become the fourth Arab state in as many months to formalize its relations with Israel, joining the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan. The latest three-way deal also includes an American recognition of Rabat’s annexation of the disputed Western Sahara territory and a $1 billion arms sale from the US to Morocco.

As for her own political future, Haley remained mum, noting only the “great year” it had been for Republicans, “in terms of wins within states.” She said that she was proud to support President Trump’s unsuccessful re-election bid and intends to campaign for the two Republican candidates in the Georgia Senate runoffs.

In his own remarks, Danon said Israel is “proving that it continues to be the startup nation when it comes to technology. The world is recognizing that Israel has a lot to offer in the way of innovation and partnerships from agritech and watertech, to healthtech and cybersecurity.”

“We welcome global partners to discuss post-COVID solutions to help change our lives for the better today, and help build the world of tomorrow,” Danon said.

Marshall Islands President David Kabua said he was hopeful the DiploTech summit would assist in “forging a new platform which helps distant nations and peoples come together in agreement.”

“The Marshall Islands and Israel might be separated by geographic distance, but we also share a strong connection in taking a strong stance when morality demands, and in using the resources we have on hand to accomplish our goals,” Kabua said in his summit speech.

Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pedro Brolo Vila also addressed the conference, saying that “due to the consequence of natural events and global warming on agriculture,” the world must “cooperate in aspects of agro-technology.”

Vila noted Israel’s “intensive investigation and development of innovative systems, created by the need of overcoming the lack of local water and arid land” as a model and example for Guatemala and other countries to follow.

“Israel is the most advanced user of agricultural irrigation in the world with water irrigation systems in more than half of its arid lands,” Vila said. “Your tech in these systems has earned respect and reputation globally and, as a result, more than 80 percent of products are exported. Cooperation in these matters therefore is very important for our country,” he said.

Vila, whose country was one of the handful to announce it would follow the US in moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, reaffirmed Guatemala’s “solid and strong friendship with the state of Israel,” adding that he hopes the post-pandemic world will bring about “greater and better commercial flow” between the two countries, as well as “greater investment and more tourism.”

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