What Will Biden’s Iran Policy Look Like?

After the assassination of Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, all eyes are on the U.S. President Trump, who has taken steps towards tensions, or even war with Iran for four years, pulled the U.S. from the agreement signed under the Obama administration, which proposed to lift the Western sanctions in exchange for stopping Iran’s nuclear program. Although President-Elect Biden describes Iran as a destabilizing force in the region, he is expected to urge Iran to return to the negotiating table to resurrect the deal with the European Union next year. Of course, how Iran will react is also essential here, as this week, the Iranian parliament overwhelmingly approved the outline of a bill that aims to counter-sanctions against its nuclear program and increase uranium enrichment. Until the Iranian Presidential elections on June 18, 2021, internal and external factors may strengthen the far-right groups/oppositions.

Some Retired U.S. Generals and U.S. Ambassadors along with the Members of the Congress from the Democratic Party have criticized Trump harshly, stating that Trump has dragged Iran and the U.S. into great chaos, and he is trying to put Biden, who will take office in January, into trouble. It is stated that everyone, including in the U.S., accepts that Israel is behind the assassination of the Iranian nuclear physicist. Still, this operation can’t be executed without the knowledge of the U.S. Here are some tips:

- U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo visited Israel and other Gulf states to discuss Iran a few days before the attack and said that “all options are still on the table” when it comes to Iran.

- Israeli defense forces were raised to a higher alert level due to the possibility of an American attack on Iran.

- The U.S. orders the aircraft carrier Nimitz to leave the Gulf for India, just before the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, to return to the Gulf. And this means that the U.S. may have been aware of the Fakhrizadeh assassination before.

Many sources I spoke to in Washington, D.C. stated that some Iranians in Iran supported this assassination. A large majority of Iran believes that it should be perceived as a message to the Iranian regime. Of course, the number of people who say that if Biden were in the office, he would not allow Israel to complete such an operation is relatively high because everyone knows that Biden wants to soften the tension with Iran, at least diplomatically. In the interview with the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), Biden stated that the U.S. should not get involved in the assassinations of individuals and that the murder of Iraqi Commander Soleimani, who was killed in Iraq, was wrong. He criticized President Trump, indicating that such targeted assassination operations would further increase the tension in the region.

The reality is that Prime Minister Netanyahu will not get massive support from Biden, as he received from Trump.

Except for his intention to rejoin the nuclear deal regarding Iran Policy, President-Elect Biden:

- Supports the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

- Supports keeping the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

- Urges Israel to halt all settlement activities in occupied territories.

- States that more assistance should be provided to Gaza.

- Urges the Arab States to normalize their relations with Israel.

- Indicates that he does not support the Israeli Government’s plans to annex the West Bank.

The U.S.-Israel relationship is an enduring partnership in every field, and the Netanyahu administration will somehow get along with President-Elect Biden. Softening tension between the U.S. and Iran would be positive for Turkey since Turkey does not want any more regional conflicts. My hope that we can see Israel’s normalization with Turkey would be very beneficial for both countries and the Middle East.When we look at the history, Turkey never trusted Iran and Turkey should never trust Iran, considering Iran’s support of both Armenia and PJAK-PKK. I would not be surprised if President-Elect Biden becomes a broker to end the dispute between Israel and Turkey like how President Obama has done it in 2013.

Finally, the U.S. government states that there may be a possible Iranian retaliation on the anniversary of Soleimani’s murder — January 3, 2021. However, the officials underline that Iran has limited options as the inauguration ceremony of President-Elect Biden will take place approximately two weeks from this date. In other words, Iran may miss the opportunity to soften the tension with the U.S. again and to evade economic sanctions.

What is evident to me is that as of 2021, I do not expect any tension between Iran and the U.S under Biden-Harris Administration.

Foreign Policy Expert on U.S.-Turkey Relations, ME, Security, NATO, Transatlantic / Journalist / 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient www.alicinar.com