Kissinger: Return to Iran Deal Could Spark Mideast Nuclear Arms Race

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Statesman Henry Kissinger said Monday he would advise incoming President Joe Biden to take advantage of the progress made possible by the Abraham Accords and to stand up to Iranian aggression.

If not, he fears a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, he told a Jewish People Policy Institute panel.

“We should not fool ourselves,” the 97-year-old diplomat, consultant and author said. “I don’t believe that the spirit [of the Iran deal], with a time limit and so many escape clauses, will do anything other than bring nuclear weapons all over the Middle East and therefore create a situation of latent tension that sooner or later will break out.”

The current leaders in Iran “don’t seem to find it possible to give up this combination of Islamist imperialism and threat,” Kissinger said. “The test case is the evolution of nuclear capacities in Iran, if these can be avoided.”

The accords show that Israel and Arab states can work together toward common interests, Kissinger said:

Normalizations with Israel show that the four states taking part “have come to the conclusion that their national interests transcend their ideological interests,” said the secretary of state and national security advisor to presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in the 1970s. “So they have decided, and Israel has advocated, that they should pursue their interests and come together, and they will take into account Arab concerns where they clash.”

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