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Israel, US planning to pressure a fearful Iran as Trump’s term ends, report says

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Israel and the US are planning to increase pressure on Iran with covert operations and economic sanctions during US President Donald Trump’s final weeks in office, believing that Tehran will not respond militarily before the end of his term, according to a Friday report.

The Israel Defense Forces and Mossad spy agency are meanwhile preparing for President-elect Joe Biden’s expected return to negotiations with Iran over the 2015 nuclear deal, which Biden has vowed to re-enter after taking office, the Channel 13 report said, without citing its sources.

The IDF and Mossad aim to work with the US to secure a more favorable deal with Iran, the report said.

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Biden is expected to take a more conciliatory approach to Iran than Trump, who has levied punishing sanctions against Tehran and killed its top general in January. Israeli officials believe Iran is fearful of American retaliation to any provocation while Trump is in office, leaving Jerusalem and the current administration a window to prepare for the Biden presidency, the report said.

Highlighting the potential threat to Tehran, the Trump administration’s Special Representative to Iran, Elliot Abrams, issued a warning to the Islamic Republic on Friday.

“If Iran and its proxies engage in military activities and terrorist activities that kill Americans, they’re going to be sorry,” Abrams told the Al Arabiya news site. Iranian protesters burn Israeli and US flags on June 8,........

© The Times of Israel

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