For Sudan, Peace with Israel Marks a National Turning Point

Oct. 29 2020

For decades, Sudan has not only been a safe haven for terrorists and an ally of such unsavory regimes as Iran and Qatar, it has also suffered from poverty, a bloody civil war, and a despotic Islamist regime. Its recent decision to make peace with Israel follows on the heels of—and flows from—the end of this long period of misrule. Jonathan Schanzer comments:

For the United States, the story of Sudan . . . is another diplomatic victory for the Trump administration and its “outside in” approach to negotiating peace with peripheral Arab states while de-prioritizing the demands of the intransigent Palestinian leadership. But there is more to celebrate. This was a victory for American foreign policy. Under American sanctions, Sudan was an international pariah. It was blocked from the U.S.-led banking system and shunned by the West for nearly 30 years. With the limited remaining resources, Omar al-Bashir’s government fed itself first, while casting the population into poverty.

Having reached their limit, the Sudanese people took matters into their own hands and won back their country. In other words, the Sudanese people earned their [removal from the state sponsors of terrorism list], and the United States did the right thing by removing the sanctions. In so doing, the United States sent an important message to the people of other countries ruled by war criminals and terrorists: you will be rewarded for winning your freedom.

Equally important was the lesson learned at home. Democrats and Republicans, while differing on the margins, did not accommodate Sudan until it truly turned a corner. There were no grand bargains involving billions of dollars in sanctions relief. There was no appeasement. We upheld our principles and won. And we did so without firing a shot.

Here’s looking at you, Iran, Venezuela and North Korea.

Read more at Washington Times

More about: Israel diplomacy, Sudan, U.S. Foreign policy

How Israel and Its Allies Could Have a Positive Influence on the Biden Administration’s Iran Policy

Nov. 25 2020

While the president-elect has expressed his desire to return the U.S. to the 2015 nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic, this should not in itself cause worry in Jerusalem; it has never been the Israeli government’s position that a deal with Tehran is undesirable, only that the flaws of the deal negotiated by the Obama administration outweighed its benefits. Thus Yaakov Amidror, Efraim Inbar, and Eran Lerman urge Israel to approach Joe Biden’s national-security team—whose senior members were announced this week—to urge them to act prudently:

To the greatest extent possible, such approaches should be made jointly, or in very close coordination with, Israel’s new partners in the Gulf. These countries share Israel’s perspectives on the Iranian regional threat and on the need to block Tehran’s path to nuclear weapons.

For Israel, for Iran-deal skeptics in Washington, and for her partners in the region, the first operational priority is to persuade the incoming U.S. national-security team to maintain full leverage on Iran. Sanctions against Iran should not be lifted as a “gesture” without a verified Iranian return to the status quo ante (at the very least) in terms of low-enriched-uranium stockpiles and ongoing enrichment activities.

In parallel, there may emerge a unique opportunity to close ranks with the French (and with Boris Johnson’s government in London) on the Iranian question. On several issues (above all, the struggle for hegemony in the eastern Mediterranean, against Turkey), Jerusalem, Abu Dhabi, and Paris now see eye-to-eye. On Iran, during the negotiations leading to the [deal] in 2015, the position of France was often the most robust. In 2018, President Macron was willing to reach an operational understanding with Secretary of State Pompeo on [key issues regarding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities].

Last but certainly not least, it should be clear to the incoming U.S. national-security team that any attempt to negotiate must be, can be, and (as far as Israel is concerned) firmly will be backed by a credible military threat.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: France, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, US-Israel relations