The Israel-Sudan Deal Is a Blow to Both Hamas and Iran

Oct. 27 2020

While peace between Jerusalem and Khartoum is unlikely to bring the mutual economic benefits that accompany the deals with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, it offers much else to the Jewish state. Yoav Limor explains:

[F]rom an Arab-Muslim standpoint, the accord means another dent has been made in the wall of opposition Israel faces in the Arab world. Sudan . . . has now become the fifth Arab nation to recognize Israel, and by doing so it has further chipped at the notion that any progress between the Arab world and Israel is inextricably linked to the Palestinian issue.

[No less important] is the security issue. [Once] Iranian ships regularly docked at Port Sudan, en route to delivering anything from rockets and mortars to anti-tank missiles, explosives, and weapons to Hizballah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. . . . [I]t seems that the new agreement will make it possible to tighten further control over any terrorist activity on Sudanese soil.

This deals a significant blow to terrorist organizations, and especially to their chief patron, Iran, which is no doubt concerned about the growing number of smuggling routes being cordoned off, as well as the growing number of Muslim countries that are choosing to seek peace with Israel.

Tehran will undoubtedly carve out new smuggling routes to keep assisting its proxies in Lebanon and Gaza, and the ayatollahs will certainly do what they can to pressure Arab leaders against following in the footsteps of the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Hamas, Iran, Israel diplomacy, Israeli Security, Sudan

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