A former Trump administration official has warned President Joe Biden to remember the threat posed by Iran while he visits the Middle East.
Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, a senior adviser to former President Donald Trump's ambassador to Israel, discussed with the Daily Mail his opposition to the Biden administration's renewed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (aka the Iran Nuclear Deal) talks, which hit yet another stalemate earlier this month.
"The fundamental line is on Iran — the rest of the stuff is a minor detail," Lightstone told the Daily Mail.
"We're begging Iran to get into an international deal with us, that they've lied and cheated."
Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday for a four-day trip that will include a stop in Saudi Arabia.
Lightstone said that if Israel and Saudi Arabia see their developing ties unraveling during Biden's visit, "Iran will remain on a fast track to a nuclear weapon."
"Who does that help?" Lightstone asked the Daily Mail. "I just really don't understand."
The president was slated to sign a declaration of strategic cooperation that will cement the U.S.'s commitment to Israel's security.
Biden and his hosts were expected to discuss Iran during the trip. White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday said the United States believed Iran was preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred drones, including some that are weapons capable, for use in its war against Ukraine.
Lightstone told the Daily Mail that the president should not get "caught in politics instead of policy" while trying for normalization of relations in the region. He added that Biden should be a leader in the normalization process.
"When the United States doesn't lead, somebody else will fill in that gap — and that's likely Russia or China," Lightstone said. "Israel and Saudi are our allies, they're our friends. We have put more time, effort, and commitment to those countries."
As senior adviser to former Ambassador David Friedman, Lightstone played a key role in manifesting the historic Abraham Accords peace deal, which normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
It was reported Saturday that Iran has continued to increase its uranium enrichment, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a confidential report.
According to the watchdog agency, Iran has installed advanced machinery at its underground Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant, which allows the Islamic regime to shift quickly and easily into enriching uranium at higher purity levels.
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