Israeli analysts have said that President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear weapons deal with Iran necessary and that in doing so he passed the “war ball” to the Israeli government.
The Hebrew channel 10 said that although Israel knew in advance of Trump’s intention to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Netanyahu government’s reaction to the news was remarkable.
Netanyahu described Trump’s decision as right, smart and courageous. He went on: “If the nuclear weapons deal remained, it would allow Iran to enrich enough uranium to produce a nuclear arsenal.”
Netanyahu claimed: “The deal did not turn Iran into a moderate state; it has rather increased its aggressiveness. It is a bad agreement, and Washington’s withdrawal will repel Iran’s aggression in the region.”
In his turn, Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Galant said that: “Israel has a strong ally which will curb the Iranian devil,” and added: “Trump’s support will help prevent imperialism and Iranian terrorism in the Middle East.”
Galant attacked the former president, Barak Obama, who signed the deal and claimed that Trump’s withdrawal will “fix to the serious mistake committed by Obama and Kerry, who had previously lifted the sanctions and pressure on Iran.”
Possibility of military option
Israeli analysts unanimously agreed that the nuclear deal was “bad.” However, there have been different points of views in terms of, “whether Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement would make war with Iran more or less likely.”
Alex Fishman, a military analyst, wrote for the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth: “The US withdrawal from the nuclear weapons deal does not improve Israel’s strategic position. The military is extremely prepared.”
Fishman said, however, that the United States would not strike nuclear facilities instead of Israel.
The head of the Institute for National Security Studies, Amos Yadlin, said that the nuclear weapons deal with Iran, “has achieved important strategic short-term objectives, which include removing Tehran away from a nuclear starting point and preventing war in the region.”
Yedioth quoted Yadlin, the former IDF Military Intelligence Chief, as saying that the deal “has drowned Iran with funds that were subject to severe sanctions yet this has not changed the Iranian regime’s behaviour as hoped by the supporters of the deal.”
He warned that one of the possible scenarios after the US withdrawal from the deal is Iran’s return to the policy of enrichment of uranium, as it was the case in 2013, and its non-compliance with the agreement with Europe. “This will get the Iranians back to the fast way to obtain a nuclear bomb in few years.”
He stressed: “This development does not rule out the military option for Israel and the US.”
Orly Azoulay, Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent in the US, said that Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear weapons deal means that: “It has put the United States and Israel on the path of war against Iran.”
Trump adopted Netanyahu’s version
The Hebrew Channel 10 pointed out that what draws the attention in Trump’s announcement is that in his decision he relied on the evidence that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed a week ago at an exclusive press conference.
The channel continued: “Trump has fully adopted Netanyahu’s version; not a partial adoption but a complete dependence.” It pointed out that: “Trump’s announcement on Tuesday has given further evidence of the close coordination between the White House and Netanyahu. Trump has also quoted Netanyahu’s speech that he delivered last week regarding Iran’s nuclear archive.”
The channel pointed out that it has now become clear that the timing of the publication of the details of the Mossad operation in Tehran has been aimed at giving the US president the needed support to withdraw from the nuclear weapons deal.
The Marker, an economic supplement in Haaretz, said that the new US sanctions on Iran may cost tens of billions of dollars in international deals.
It added: “The US withdrawal will not jeopardize the signed deals, but the new sanctions could put international companies that continue to work with Iran at risk.”
The Marker continued: “Transactions and bank transfers that are carried out by these companies could be indirectly affected by the US embargo on dealing with Iran.”
It also stressed that US sanctions on Iran would lead to a drop in Iranian oil exports and put more pressure on the world oil markets, banks, transport companies, insurance companies and ports, which will be exposed to losing access to the global banking system, and will have no choice but to end their partnership in Iran.
Cover photo: An Iranian flag flutters in front of the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran