Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hailed US President-elect Donald Trump’s support for Israel, announcing that he is willing to work with Trump in the hopes that the duo can rollback the Iranian nuclear deal hammered out by President Barack Obama last year.
Speaking last night via teleconferencing from occupied Jerusalem to a forum on the Middle East held in Washington, Netanyahu said: “Israel is committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. This won’t change, and will not change.”
The Israeli premier also suggested that there were “five options available” to Israel and the United States in order to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but did not specify what those options may be, merely saying that he would discuss them with Trump upon his inauguration to the presidency.
Attempting to strike a tone that showed regional convergence on key issues, Netanyahu also commented that Israel and the Arab world had shared interests in facing down the dual threats of Daesh and Iranian ambitions in the Middle East.
Throughout the US presidential elections, Trump repeatedly referred to the Iran nuclear deal brokered by Washington and backed by the P5+1 as a “bad deal”, threatening to tear up the accord should he become president.
Since election, Trump has slightly moderated his discourse, saying that “I would police that contract so tough [the Iranians] wouldn’t stand a chance.”
In recent weeks, Trump has also offered General James “Mad Dog” Mattis to take on the role of Defence Secretary and Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo to head up the CIA. Both are seen as intractable foes of Iran.
Mattis, also a critic of the nuclear deal, once remarked that he believed that the Daesh extremist organisation was merely an excuse for Iran to “continue its mischief” in the Middle East, commenting that no other country had benefited from Daesh as much as the Iranians.
Pompeo was also one of the US Congressmen who discovered that there were two secret additions to the nuclear deal after visiting the IAEA in Vienna in 2015, and as a result has raised questions as to whether Iran’s compliance with the accord can truly be verifiable.
Israel has long opposed the nuclear deal and had public spats with the Obama administration. Trump is viewed by both Israel and Arab states as a possible new chance as containing Iran who has been busy expanding since the US toppled Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 2003.