Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday led a chorus of effusive Israeli praise for US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and reinstate the “highest level” of US sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“Israel fully supports President Trump’s bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran,” Netanyahu said in a live English-language televised statement from his office, moments after Trump’s announcement.
Trump on Tuesday announced the US withdrawal from what he called the “defective” multinational nuclear deal with Iran, signing a presidential memorandum to reintroduce high-level sanctions on the rogue regime.
Netanyahu said Israel opposed the nuclear deal “from the start,” because, rather than keeping Tehran away from the bomb, “it paves Iran’s path to an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs.”
The lifting of sanctions by world powers since the 2015 accord “has already produced disastrous results,” said the prime minister.
“The deal didn’t push war further away, it actually brought it closer. The deal didn’t reduce Iran’s aggression, it dramatically increased it,” the prime minister said, citing the regime’s military activities across the region.
“Since the deal, we’ve seen Iran’s aggression grow every day — in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Yemen, in Gaza, and most of all, in Syria, where Iran is trying to establish military bases from which to attack Israel.”
He thanked Trump for his “courageous leadership,” and applauded the pullout as “an historic move.”
In a statement, President Reuven Rivlin hailed Trump’s decision as “an important and significant step in ensuring the security of the entire free world.”
An historic day for Israel and the Jewish people. A deadly threat has been lifted. I am deeply grateful to Pres. Trump and his team for their clarity and courage in nixing the dangerous Iran nuclear deal. The Middle East and the world will be safer and better able to stop Iran.
— Michael Oren (@DrMichaelOren) May 8, 2018
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, in a tweet, said Trump’s decision heralded the eventual toppling of the Iranian regime.
“President Trump, the leader of the free world, told the ayatollah regime clearly and firmly: No more! Iran is a dictatorship that supports and finances terrorism and death in the entire world,” said Liberman on Twitter.
“Iran is a terrorist entity that aspires to [develop] nuclear weapons. This is a brave step of leadership that will eventually result in the fall of this cruel and terrible regime,” said Liberman.
Trump had lambasted Iran for its military activities across the region and argued the Iran deal should never have been signed.
“The Iran deal is defective at its core,” Trump said in a televised address from the White House. “I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.”
He called Tehran the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, and decried its influence in the Middle East. “It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will,” said Trump of the accord.
Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz on Tuesday evening urged Europe not to be a “weak link” in a global coalition against Iran.
“The world must unite against Iran! I turn to the leaders of the European countries — not to be the weak link in the coalition and to join the sanctions announced by the President of the United States,” the Likud minister said.
From the opposition, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid thanked Trump for his “strong stance in support of Israel.”
I thank @POTUS for his strong stance in support of #Israel. After the President's decision we have to enlist all our diplomatic capacity to ensure that Europe, Russia and China join the effort to prevent #Iran from returning to its nuclear weapons program.
— יאיר לפיד Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) May 8, 2018
The US pullout, however, earned only a tepid response from Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay.
“The debate is over,” Gabbay wrote on Twitter. “Trump set up new facts vis-a-vis Iran and there is no more significance to the discussion on whether or not he was right.”