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US and Israel Agree on Opposing Iran

Iran flags under clouds (Photo: wikicommons/ Farzaaaad2000)

The new administration in Washington has come to the same conclusion as Israel on the 2015 nuclear agreement made with Iran - that it is a bad deal. But, Yaakov Lappin writes at JNS, the two allies must now decide how to address the faulty deal's flaws:

Before being elected last November, President Donald Trump described the agreement with Iran as “the worst deal ever negotiated” and said he would act to dismantle it. This position echoes the frequent comments on the deal by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Following Trump’s election, Netanyahu expressed hope that he could work with Trump to undo the arrangement. 

Yet it remains far from clear whether the defense establishments of Israel and the U.S. would like to see the nuclear deal canceled, despite the deep misgivings and concerns they both hold about the accord.

Prof. Eytan Gilboa, an expert on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the founding director of the School of Communication at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, told JNS.org that that there is wide agreement across the Trump administration that the nuclear deal is insufficient, yet it also “remains unclear how Trump and the Pentagon wish to fix its shortcomings.”

“In Israel too, there is an agreement that the deal is not good, but there are disagreements over how bad it is, and what can be done to address its faults,” Gilboa said...

There is a need for the P5+1 countries to clarify how Iran is allowed to interpret the deal, when it comes to inspections at suspicious military facilities, to prevent the Iranians from playing for time, Landau argued. Preparing fixed responses for potential Iranian violations would strengthen the deal, she said. 

“This cannot be left unattended to last minute. There won’t be enough to to take effective action,” said Landau.

The outcome of the Feb. 15 meeting between Trump and Netanyahu at the White House could also be critical for charting the course ahead. Bar-Ilan’s Gilboa said that Trump “expects Netanyahu to bring practical suggestions on how to deal with this issue. Only after the meeting will it be possible to know where things are headed.”

Tags: US-Israel Relations

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