Benjamin Netanyahu said that it was Israel that convinced Donald Trump to ditch the landmark Iranian nuclear deal in a recording released by local media. Bibi insists that he “had to stand up against the whole world.”
The recording was released by Kan public broadcaster on Twitter and the story was quickly picked up by the Times of Israel. The PM is seen speaking in Hebrew to activists and senior members from his ruling Likud party in a closed meeting reportedly dated earlier in July.
Netanyahu boasts that “we” – apparently referring to the state of Israel – “convinced the US president” to exit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iranian nuclear deal. “I had to stand up against the whole world and come out against this agreement,” Netanyahu says in the video, as cited by the Times of Israel. “And we didn’t give up.”
The politician then starts speaking about the “Iranian regime,” noting though that he has nothing against the Iranian people. One of the participants of the meeting then is heard saying: “It will disappear with the help of God,” apparently referring to Netanyahu’s “Iranian regime” remark. “You said it. From your lips to God’s ears,” Netanyahu replies as the footage ends.
#BREAKING: Israel @kann_news publishes a recording of PM Netanyahu in which he claims that he was the one who persuaded president Trump to leave the Iran Deal: “I didn’t give up the even that the whole world was in favour of the deal” pic.twitter.com/c8si6Rq3ad
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) July 17, 2018
It has been over two months since Washington pulled out of the milestone Iranian nuclear deal, one of the most significant non-proliferation accords in decades. The withdrawal came despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Tehran’s compliance with the accord on numerous occasions. Even key US allies, including France and Germany, failed to talk US President Donald Trump out of the decision.
Israel called for the nuclear deal with its long-time foe Tehran to be abandoned. In June, Netanyahu even set off to Europe, determined to convince German, French, and British leaders, signatories of the deal, to pull their countries out of the agreement. Netanyahu has openly accused Tehran of lying about its nuclear program and had therefore breached the accord.
The deal, often seen as the crowning achievement of former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, has been repeatedly slammed by Trump. He called the agreement “one of the worst deals ever,” and vowed to repeal it both during his 2016 presidential campaign and his presidency.
Trump’s ditching of the historic agreement angered his European allies, with France’s economy minister urging Europe to stop acting like “US vassals” and continue trading with Tehran. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the US is trying to isolate Iran in order to “strangle” it and force it to change its policies.The Chinese Foreign Ministry vowed that China would “maintain communication with all parties and continue to protect and execute the agreement fully.”
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