Joe Biden
Joe Biden Reuters

Amos Hochstein, a former senior aide to US president-elect Joe Biden, said on Sunday that rejoining the Iran nuclear deal was “high on his agenda”.

Speaking to Channel 12 News, Hochstein said, "I assume that in the first months of his term, we will see either a return to the full agreement or a return to the suspension of sanctions in exchange for the suspension of some of the Iranian nuclear systems built in the last three years."

Hochstein, who served at the State Department and oversaw energy sanctions on Iran during former President Barack Obama’s term, also noted that there are upcoming elections in Iran.

"I would assume that the outcome of the Iranian election will depend in some way on the outcome of the US election, and we need to see what they want to do," he said. "But the president-elect wants to return to the nuclear deal with some changes, such as the expiration date of the agreement and more."

Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict, Hochstein said, "President-elect Biden thinks an agreement with the Palestinians is important and he sees a two-state solution as better than a one-state solution. His fear is that if there is no two-state solution, it will eventually lead to one state. Therefore, he will support Israel in the form of a policy that supports two states and return the Palestinian issue to the center of the discourse."

The former senior aide added that Biden is a close friend of Israel, and that he believes there will be a warm relationship but the leaders will not always agree with each other.

Hochstein also downplayed the fact that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz waited before congratulating Biden.

"It made headlines in the US, but it will not affect long-term relations. Knowing Joe Biden, his relationship with Israel will continue to be warm."