Kushner calls Biden move on Iran ‘smart’
Jared Kushner, former President Trump’s son-in-law and a former senior White House adviser, praised President Biden for signaling he is open to rejoining the Iran nuclear agreement and said his administration has an opportunity to ensure peace in the Middle East.
Kushner’s views, outlined in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal published on Sunday, are somewhat surprising given Trump’s repeated criticisms of the Iran deal.
“While many were troubled by the Biden team’s opening offer to work with Europe and rejoin the Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, I saw it as a smart diplomatic move,” Kushner wrote.
“The Biden administration called Iran’s bluff. It revealed to the Europeans that the JCPOA is dead and only a new framework can bring stability for the future,” he said.
Iran has said it wants sanctions removed as part of an agreement to come to the negotiating table on a new nuclear deal, something U.S. officials have refused.
Kushner credited Trump with laying the groundwork for an improved relationship between the U.S. and Iran.
“Mr. Trump has said that Iran has never won a war but never lost a negotiation. This negotiation is high-stakes and, thanks to his policies, America holds a strong hand,” he wrote. “Iran is feigning strength, but its economic situation is dire and it has no ability to sustain conflict or survive indefinitely under current sanctions.”
Biden has been under pressure from progressives and lawmakers in his own party to start a new course separate from Trump on Iran.
“The longer the elements of ‘maximum pressure’ remain in effect, the more it will continue to embolden hardliners and make U.S.-Iran diplomacy more difficult,” more than two dozen progressive groups wrote in a letter to the White House earlier this month. “The recent escalation in military activity between the United States and reported Iranian proxies in Syria and Iraq only shows how urgently needed a new course of action is.”
Kushner, who worked on a plan to restore diplomatic relations between Israel and several Gulf states and other countries, urged Americans to practice “patience” when it comes to delicate talks with Iran.
“If the threat from Iran decreases, so can the region’s military budgets. Imagine how many lives could be improved if that money, an outsize share of gross domestic product, were invested in infrastructure, education, small business and impoverished communities,” he said. “Following the new road map will prevent the Biden administration from repeating the mistakes of the past and unlock opportunities for U.S. businesses.”