KEY POINTS

  • Kushner called the Arab-Israeli conflict a real-estate dispute 
  • He praised Trump for laying groundwork for improving ties with Iran 
  • Working on a book on his White House life and role in Abraham Accords

President Joe Biden's offer to rejoin the Iran nuclear talks found support from an unexpected quarter. Donald Trump's son-in-law and former White House adviser Jared Kushner praised Biden for a "smart diplomatic move".  

"While many were troubled by the Biden team’s opening offer to work with Europe and rejoin the Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, I saw it as a smart diplomatic move," Kushner wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. 

"The Biden administration called Iran’s bluff. It revealed to the Europeans that the JCPOA is dead and only a new framework can bring stability for the future," he said in the Op-Ed. "When Iran asked for a reward merely for initiating negotiations, President Biden did the right thing and refused," he wrote. 

Though the US has expressed willingness to sit down for talks with Tehran and other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal, the latter had rejected the offer, saying it wants sanctions removed to come to the negotiating table.

Kushner, whose absence from Trump's inner circle since the end of the presidency had sparked speculation about a rift, also praised his father-in-law for laying the groundwork for an improved relationship between the two countries. "Mr. Trump has said that Iran has never won a war but never lost a negotiation. This negotiation is high-stakes and, thanks to his policies, America holds a strong hand," he wrote. 

"Iran is feigning strength, but its economic situation is dire and it has no ability to sustain conflict or survive indefinitely under current sanctions." 

Kushner, who is said to be working on a book about his life in the White House and his role in negotiating deals between Israel and Arab states, said "it would be a mistake not to build on the progress in the Middle East." 

One of the key people behind a historic peace treaty between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Kushner said, "We are witnessing the last vestiges of what has been known as the Arab-Israeli conflict."

"One of the reasons the Arab-Israeli conflict persisted for so long was the myth that it could be solved only after Israel and the Palestinians resolved their differences. That was never true. The Abraham Accords exposed the conflict as nothing more than a real-estate dispute between Israelis and Palestinians that need not hold up Israel’s relations with the broader Arab world," he wrote. 

While praising the Trump administration, Kushner argues that they have handed Joe Biden a success on which he can build upon.

"The table is set. If it is smart, the Biden administration will seize this historic opportunity to unleash the Middle East's potential, keep America safe, and help the region turn the page on a generation of conflict and instability," he wrote. 

A recent CNN report suggested that Kushner is "effectively done with Trump's rhetoric" and "wants closure and a fresh start, one that doesn't include advising his father-in-law on a daily basis."

US presidential advisor Jared Kushner is to visit Israel and Morocco, a US official said US presidential advisor Jared Kushner is to visit Israel and Morocco, a US official said Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski