Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Iran nuclear deal “disastrous” in a press conference with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Monday in Jerusalem, Haaretz reports.
“There is still time for leaders to seize the opportunity that President Trump has offered them, to correct the failure of the nuclear deal. But if those leaders do not seize that opportunity or they offer only cosmetic changes, Israel will unequivocally support the president’s decision to walk away from a bad deal and restore crippling sanctions. Our position is clear: fully fix it, or fully nix it,” said Netanyahu.
Pence recognized the situation with Iran and said that the U.S. also aspires to hope in the region. Pence said that he met with the leaders of Egypt and Jordan earlier in his trip and said that those two countries made peace with Israel and now understand the threat that Iran poses. He added that he is in Israel to reiterate the strong relationship between Israel and the U.S. and that the two countries stand together in facing off against radical Islam.
Earlier today, Pence spoke in the Knesset and criticized the Iran deal. He said that if the Iran deal isn’t fixed, the U.S. will leave the deal, vowing to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear arms. “I have a solemn promise from me to all of Israel: the U.S. will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon,” he said.
Netanyahu on Monday evening thanked the U.S. administration for its tough stance on Iran, saying Washington stands on “the right side of history” for rejecting the nuclear deal and supporting Iranian protesters’ recent demonstrations against the regime.
At a joint press appearance with visiting U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Netanyahu lambasted European leaders for their responses to the recent protests across Iran and called on world leaders to agree to the White House’s policy to demand substantial changes to the Iran nuclear deal, which six world powers signed with Tehran in 2015.
“I want to salute both President Trump and you, Mr. Vice President, for standing with the people of Iran, when so many in Europe and elsewhere, were shamefully silent. Some – and this is hard to believe – some actually hosted the regime’s mouthpieces, while its goons were throwing thousands of Iranian protesters into prison,” Netanyahu said, standing alongside Pence at the Prime Minister’s Residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street.
Netanyahu was apparently referring to the European Union hosting Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Brussels recently to discuss ways to maintain the nuclear deal. Brussels and Tehran are in favor of keeping the deal as is, while Washington and Jerusalem have called for either drastic changes or a total annulment of the deal.
“I share the belief that Iran’s radical regime will ultimately fall, and one day Iran’s people will win the freedom they so justly deserve. And when that day comes, they will remember those who stood with them and those who stood with their oppressors. You’re on the right side of history,” the prime minister went on, minutes before he hosted Pence and his wife Karen for a private dinner.
Israel agrees with the U.S. administration that the nuclear deal with Iran is “disastrous,” Netanyahu said, arguing that it paves Tehran’s path to a nuclear arsenal.
“That’s why Israel supports President Trump’s policy regarding the deal. There is still time for leaders to seize the opportunity that President Trump has offered them, to correct the failings of this failed deal. But if those leaders do not seize that opportunity, or if they offer only cosmetic changes, Israel will unequivocally support the president’s decision to walk away from a bad deal and restore crippling sanctions,” he said.