As the vote counting process in the 2020 US presidential election continues, Israel's Settlements Minister Tzachi Hanegbi expressed his concerns about what might happen in the Middle East if Joe Biden becomes the next POTUS, The Jerusalem Post reports.
According to the newspaper, Hanegbi argued that Biden's stance on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, might actually lead to a war between Iran and Israel.
"Biden has said openly for a long time that he will go back to the nuclear agreement," he said. "I see that as something that will lead to a confrontation between Israel and Iran."
Hanegbi also is also reported to have insisted that he, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and most Israelis regarded the JCPOA as "mistaken – and that’s an understatement".
"If Biden stays with that policy, there will, in the end, be a violent confrontation between Israel and Iran," the minister warned.
But Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee Chairman Zvi Hauser reportedly adopted a more "optimistic approach", describing Biden as a true friend of Israel.
"I assume that even if the Iran Deal is renewed… it will be better than the previous one," the newspaper quotes him as saying to Army Radio on Thursday. "There is broad agreement that it had significant holes when it comes to the interests of the free world."
The JCPOA was signed in 2015 between Iran and the permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States), and the European Union.
The deal required Iran to scale back its nuclear programme and severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief, including lifting the arms embargo five years after the deal's adoption.
In 2018, US President Donald Trump announced the United States' unilateral withdrawal from the agreement, which eventually led to Iran gradually suspending some of its JCPOA-related obligations in response.