As President-elect Donald Trump continues to flesh out his cabinet, the notion of who may be appointed energy secretary is compelling in light of the battle heating up over President Obama's Iran deal, something Trump has promised to trash once he takes office. Forbes reports that there are several players being considered for the role:
While Trump puts together his cabinet, he is also talking about energy. According to reports, Trump has short-listed three names for Energy Secretary: James L. Connaughton, chief executive of Nautilus Data Technologies and former environmental adviser to President George W. Bush, Robert E. Grady, a Gryphon Investors partner, and Continental Resources chief executive Harold Hamm – a champion of the nation’s oil and gas revolution.
Whoever takes control of that sector will certainly have a diplomatic task before them as Iran has issued warnings in recent days to Congress not to renew expiring sanctions as they see that as a violation of sorts of the deal they negotiated with President Obama. Iranian leaders' rhetoric has been strong on the matter, with Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei saying that if Congress renews sanctions, "they should know that the Islamic Republic will definitely react to it."
One unlikely actor that would like the incoming president to put the brakes on scrapping the Iran deal is Israel, particularly given that country's criticism of the deal as it was being developed.
But some media outlets and former government officials there has been vocal about the repercussions of an immediate reversal on the deal. From Forbes:
Shemuel Meir, a former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) analyst and associate researcher at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University says that the Iran deal is “beneficial to Israeli security, and thus must be safeguarded,” adding that the deal “removed the existential threat hovering above Israel.”...
...Others in the country agree. Two days after Trump’s win, The Times of Israel said that rolling back the Iran deal could isolate the U.S., alienate international allies, and play into the Iranian’s hands. Similar views have been common in the country.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, is scheduled to meet with Trump early next year and reportedly favors taking a hard line against Iran. In fact, the Israeli Defense Ministry last summer compared the Iran deal to the Munich Agreement that Europe signed with Nazi Germany in 1938.