Biden to appoint Blinken as secretary of state, signaling new US policy on Iran
Blinken was heavily involved in shaping the Obama administration’s 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and harshly criticized Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the deal in 2018.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
US President-elect Joe Biden is expected to appoint former Obama administration deputy secretary of state Antony Blinken as secretary of state. Bloomberg reported Monday.
New White House chief of staff Ron Klain told media on Sunday that Biden would start making his cabinet announcements on Tuesday.
Blinken, a Harvard University and Columbia Law School graduate, served as Biden’s foreign policy adviser during his 2020 presidential campaign and as Deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017.
He was heavily involved in shaping the Obama administration’s 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and has been critical of President Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the deal in 2018.
In April 2020, in a virtual discussion hosted by the Jewish Democratic Council of America, Blinken censored Trump for trying to tighten the arms embargo against Iran, when the deal was set to expire.
“It’s hard not to almost admire the sheer hypocrisy of the action the administration is trying to take in, in fact, seeking to force countries in the Security Council to find a way to extend the arms embargo against Iran, ”he said.
In July 2020, during a forum at the Hudson Institute, Blinken called for a departure from Trump’s “America First” foreign policy in favor of closer U.S. cooperation with other countries.
“Put simply, the big issues we face as a country and as a planet, be it climate change, a pandemic, the spread of bad weapons – to state the obvious, none of them have unilateral solutions, ”he said. noted.
“Even a country as powerful as the United States cannot run them alone. “
James Melville, a U.S. diplomat who served as U.S. Ambassador to Estonia, told CNN Blinken was a solid choice for the role.
“Tony was a great assistant secretary,” he said.
“He is brilliant and kind and would be a wonderful and very effective leader of what will have to be one of the most monumental tasks of diplomacy, cleaning up the stables after the worst president and secretary of state we have ever had.”