Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen has strongly criticised the plans of presumptive Democratic nominee for the US presidency Joe Biden to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal), claiming in an interview with The Jerusalem Post that such a move would bring Tehran closer to acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Cohen argued that this was precisely what the original deal did and opined that should Biden take a look at the US intelligence reports, he would likely change his mind about this point in his election programme.
"The deal signed under Obama brought Iran closer to a nuclear weapon in terms of […] being able to test ballistic missiles and advanced centrifuges. We exposed Iran’s intentions when we seized the nuclear archives. No US president will dare to sign a deal which will get them a nuclear weapon and help fund terror", Cohen said.
The Israeli spy chief also claimed that the Iran nuclear deal allowed Tehran to fund militants and terrorists around the world and added that should it be restored after essentially having been destroyed by the Trump administration's efforts, Iran would utilise the resources and money freed up due to sanctions being lifted to sponsor these groups once again.
"[The deal] created more resources for funding Shi’ite militias and terror groups. Once [Biden] sees the latest intelligence reports, he will not want to rejoin the Iran deal", the minister said.
Cohen, who took on the role of intelligence minister relatively recently, revealed some of the directions that Israel is planning to explore in order to defend itself from Iran. He intends to push the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to pressure Iran to grant it access to two alleged undeclared nuclear sites after previously having been denied permission to send its inspectors there. Cohen also said that it's crucial to extend the conventional arms sale embargo in October 2020, admitting, however, that the initiative might not get enough support in the UN Security Council. He noted, on the other hand, that he is confident that the US will introduce its own sanctions against the sale of weapons to Iran should the UN vote "fail" and argued that they might even be more effective than international ones.