Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu will meet in New York on Monday, at the start of a week in which they intend to launch a concerted assault at the United Nations against the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, The Guardian reports.
The U.S. and Israeli leaders are expected to use their speeches to the UN general assembly on Tuesday to highlight the threat to Middle East stability and security represented by Tehran.
While anxiety about Iran’s expansive role in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon is widely shared, Trump and Netanyahu’s antipathy to the multilateral deal agreed in Vienna two years ago binds them together, even as it sets them apart from the overwhelming majority of other world leaders attending the annual UN summit.
During a visit to Buenos Aires on Tuesday, the Israeli prime minister stated: “Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal. Either fix it – or cancel it.” Trump has signalled his intention to withdraw certification of the Iran deal in a report the state department is due to submit to Congress by 15 October. Although that would not lead directly to the end of the agreement, it would open the door to new US sanctions which would represent a violation of the deal and trigger its unravelling.
One of his avenues of attack will be to argue that the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is not being assertive enough in inspections of suspect military sites in Iran. The push for military base inspections, with its echoes of contentious UN meetings in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, is likely to meet stiff resistance in the security council. Even those capitals which might agree that the IAEA could be more assertive, point to the certain and tangible benefits of the Vienna deal, which has reduced the Iranian stockpile of low-enriched uranium by nearly 99%.
Western allies in Europe – most notably the UK, France and Germany, co-signatories of the 2015 deal – remain committed to the agreement and have signalled they are willing to disagree sharply and openly with Trump on the issue.