The end of the Trump era has caused a collective but cautious sigh of relief in Iran.

Some in the Gulf region feared that in the dying days of his presidency Donald Trump might choose to double down on his policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran and launch a military strike on its civilian nuclear plants and other targets.

Reports from Washington in November indicated this was one option the US president had looked at, before being talked out of it by his advisers.

By contrast, President-elect Joe Biden has made it clear that he wants the US to rejoin the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran, which would mean reversing sanctions and releasing money to Tehran in exchange for Iran's full compliance.

So is Iran now safe from attack?

A Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an Israeli Air Force F-15 Eagle fighter jet flying in formation with two others, during an air show at Hatzerim base in the Negev desert (29 June 2017)image copyrightAFP
image captionIsrael's defence minister has said it "needs to have a military option on the table"

In a word, no. Israel remains extremely concerned, not just by Iran's civilian nuclear activities but by its prolific programme to develop its arsenal of ballistic missiles.

On Thursday, Israel's Defence Minister Benny Gantz was quoted as saying, in reference to Iran's nuclear development programme: "It is clear that Israel needs to have a military option on the table. It requires resources and investment and I am working to make that happen."

Israel, as the Islamic Republic's declared enemy, sees a nuclear bomb in Iranian hands as a threat to its very existence and has urged the world to stop it before it is too late. 

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