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In the US, Bennett believes he can succeed on Iran where Netanyahu failed

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WASHINGTON — To many Middle East observers, it feels like we’ve been here before.

A Democratic US president is determined to solve a rapidly expanding Iranian nuclear program by negotiating a stopgap deal — one that does not address Tehran’s proxy groups or its ballistic missile program; meanwhile, a right-wing Israeli prime minister is headed to Washington to try to convince the leader of the free world that such a deal will make the world more dangerous, and ultimately allow Iran to build a bomb anyway.

In the leadup to the 2015 JCPOA deal, this dynamic led to an increasingly caustic relationship between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama.

As he flies to Washington, DC, for his first visit as prime minister, Naftali Bennett believes that he can achieve two things that his predecessor was unable to: head off a deal between Iran and the US, and do so while avoiding harm to the US-Israel relationship and bipartisan support for the Jewish state.

“We are bringing a new spirit of cooperation with us,” Bennett said optimistically before boarding his plane to the US.

On Monday, a senior Israeli government official said that the prime minister would present US President Joe Biden with a plan for dealing with Iran — both its nuclear program and its proxy forces — without returning to the JCPOA.

It’s an ambitious goal, to say the least.

Throughout his entire presidential campaign, and since entering the Oval Office, Biden has been consistent in his belief that putting the Iran nuclear issue “back in the box” is the priority, and that only once that is done can other challenges from Tehran be dealt with.

Moreover, just because the Israelis say they want to talk about Iran doesn’t mean that their interlocutors have to stick to that script. In its statement about Bennett’s visit, the White House said that the leaders would discuss the Palestinians as well.

And there is no question that Biden’s attention is not on........

© The Times of Israel

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