Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is offering his help to Donald Trump should he follow through with his vow to dismantle the Iran nuclear deal.
The Israeli leader's comments came during an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes that aired Sunday. Stressing that he personally knows Trump and his attitude toward Israel, Netanyahu suggested that the new Trump administration would likely be willing to take some significant steps to undo the infamous Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which infused the terror-sponsoring Iran with $140 billion and only at best slowed their goal of creating nuclear weapons.
"I know Donald Trump, and I think his attitude, his support for Israel is clear," said Netanyahu. "He feels very warmly about the Jewish state, about the Jewish people. There's no question about that."
Netanyahu underscored that he and President Obama had some significant "differences of opinion," particularly about the Iran deal. All that could change with Trump, who has repeatedly blasted the agreement. At an AIPAC meeting in March Trump announced that his "number-one priority" upon taking office is "to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran."
In the interview Sunday, Netanyahu said there are "various ways of undoing" the deal if Trump should follow through on this pledge, adding he had "about five things in my mind," though he would not give specifics.
As Daniel Wagner explains, dismantling the deal is complicated. Even if Trump sticks to his promise, the fact that it was a multilateral agreement, in which America is just one of seven governments involved, limits the Trump administration's options:
Assuming that Iran remains compliant with the JCPOA’s terms, no one expects the Europeans to re-impose sanctions on Iran, even if the U.S. chooses to impose its own in response to ongoing ballistic missile tests, sponsorship of State Department-designated terrorist organizations such as Lebanese Hezbollah, and/or human rights abuses.
That said, if the U.S. Congress votes to nullify the agreement and Trump formally does so, the other participants to the Agreement (most importantly, Iran) will no doubt be forced to consider the implications of such action on both the sanctity of the Agreement as well as the degree to which it is likely to remain in force should sanctions be re-imposed by Washington. It is also important to remember that even after Trump takes office, the rule of law will still prevail and Trump (and his Republican majority-controlled Congress) have many other ‘priorities’ that will take precedence over the JCPOA and America’s relationship with Iran.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has openly announced that it seeks to wipe Israel off the face of the map. The authoritarian state is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. The Obama administration has admitted that some of the $140 billion in funds that were released to Iran might be used to further fund its terrorist goals. The deal's sanctions relief is a major boon to Iran's economy, particularly in regard to its oil industry, only making Iran more influential and, thus, dangerous.
For more on the "disastrous" Iran deal, read conservative author Dennis Prager's discussion of "what's wrong with Obama's case for the Iran deal."