In a historic and courageous move, President Trump declared that the US will exit the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement under which the United States was obligated to ease crippling economic restrictions on Iran under periodic “waivers” that technically suspended sanctions, as was reported by World Israel News.
“I am announcing today the US will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” Trump announced from the White House on Tuesday afternoon.
Trump spoke with assuredness in his address, noting, “the Iranian promise was a lie,” in reference to the Islamic Republic’s assurances under the agreement, which he also called a “giant fiction.”
Starting during his presidential campaign, Trump has threatened to extricate the US from what has referred to as the “worst deal ever negotiated.” Trump’s stated reasons were Iran’s unabated development of ballistic missiles, its role stoking bloody wars in Syria and Yemen, and the fact that Iran lied about its nuclear weapons program, according to the WIN report.
With regard to the last point, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented a voluminous amount of concrete evidence last week in which he demonstrated that Iran had not only been developing nuclear weapons, but was also meticulously preserving the records related to the program. Israeli intelligence services succeeded in spiriting the records out of Iran, which many saw as a smoking gun in providing ample proof that Iran had behaved in a blatantly mendacious fashion on repeated occasions in the run-up to the nuclear deal’s conclusion.
On Tuesday, Trump referred explicitly to this evidence, in addition to a litany of Iran’s terrorist activities throughout the regime’s 40-year history and its “bloody ambitions, which have only grown more brazen” since the deal was signed.
“The deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium . . . in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s activities,” Trump lamented, referring also to Iran’s “sinister activities in Syria, Yemen and other places around the world.”
“America will not be held hostage,” Trump warned, promising to “reinstate nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime… and the highest level of economic sanctions.”
European leaders have staunchly maintained a favorable attitude towards preserving the controversial deal. Such ostensible Western allies as Germany are significantly immersed in business dealings with the Islamic Republic, as was reported by World Israel News.
Middle East nations such as Israel, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia have remained wary of Iran’s escalating aggression. Operating out of military locations in Syria, the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps has amassed considerable Iranian military assets in the civil war-ravaged nation.
With sanctions set to “snap back” in the wake of Trump’s announcement, foreign companies will be subject to US penalties if they do business with Iranian entities.
While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed on Monday that Iran could remain in the nuclear deal even if the US bolts, he issued a stern warning that Tehran will continue to resist US attempts to curtail his nation’s influence in the region.
Trump ended his Tuesday address on a positive note, stating, “The future of Iran belongs to its people . . . they deserve a nation that does justice to their dreams.”
Immediately following President Trump’s address from the White House on Tuesday afternoon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement praising President Trump for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.
“Israel fully supports President Trump’s bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran,” declared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Israel thanks President Trump for his courageous leadership, his commitment to confront the terrorist regime in Tehran and his commitment to ensure that Iran never gets nuclear weapons, not today, not in a decade, not ever,” continued Netanyahu.
The 2015 agreement to which Netanyahu referred flooded the Iranian regime with cash and lifted crippling economic sanctions, leaving it better funded and equipped to pursue its threats against the Jewish state. Israel thus had remained a proponent of fixing or nixing the agreement.
“Israel has opposed the nuclear deal from the start because we said that rather than blocking Iran’s path to a bomb, the deal actually paved Iran’s path to an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs, and this within a few years’ time,” Netanyahu warned. “The removal of sanctions under the deal has already produced disastrous results. The deal didn’t push war further away, it actually brought it closer.”
“Since the deal, we’ve seen Iran’s aggression grow every day- in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Yemen, in Gaza, and most of all, in Syria, where Iran is trying to establish military bases from which to attack Israel,” explained Netanyahu.
Netanyahu pinpointed “the terrorist regime in Tehran’s [development of] ballistic missiles capability . . . to carry nuclear warheads far and wide, to many parts of the world” and “its [intensified] efforts to hide its secret nuclear weapons program.”
While European leaders and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had pushed incessantly as of late to maintain the deal, Netanyahu referred to that scenario on Tuesday as “a recipe for disaster, a disaster for our region, a disaster for the peace of the world.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin echoed Netanyahu’s sentiments, calling Trump’s decision “an important and significant step in ensuring the security of the State of Israel, the security of the region and the security of the entire free world.”
“Alongside the nuclear threat we do not, for a moment, forget the arms race Iran is leading on our borders, and we follow the developments closely and responsibly in order to protect the security of our citizens. The threat of Iranian consolidation is not a threat to the State of Israel alone, and therefore international pressure is necessary in the struggle against this danger,” Rivlin explained.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, concurred with the Israeli prime minister and president in comments to Security Council ambassadors on Tuesday following, calling the move “a historic decision that provides the prospect for a new era of security and stability in the Middle East.”
Danon’s comments on Tuesday communicated hope that the US’ new direction could translate into progress in the fight to stop Iran, the world’s top state sponsor of terror and a major force of destabilization propping up extremists in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.
“A united front against this regime that promotes terror and sows instability can put an end to the Iranian aggression which threatens our region and the entire international community,” declared Danon.
Meanwhile in Israel, TPS reported that IDF officials had ordered civil authorities in the Golan Heights to open civilian bomb shelters Tuesday.
Earlier in the evening, IDF officials instructed local governments in the Golan Heights to open municipal bomb shelters after detecting irregular Iranian activity in Syria, and said the army had deployed in an “expanded defensive posture” to respond to a cross-border attack from Syria and would prepare the civilian population on the Golan Heights accordingly.
“The IDF is prepared for any situation and warns that any action directed against Israel will be answered with a strong reaction,” the IDF Spokesman’s Unit said in a media statement.
Katzrin Mayor Dima Apartsev told the Hebrew-language Hadashot (news) program that the city’s shelters have been open for the past week but that other than that the region has maintained a normal routine.
“The shelters here have been open for a week. We’re ready (should anything happen), but right now we are just keeping to our normal routine and keeping our eyes open,” Apartsev said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely added that Trump has “once again proved that he has the courage to tell the truth” and said that “an Iran under a strict regime of sanctions is preferable to an Iran that is using the cover of an agreement in order to move full-speed-ahead towards a nuclear weapon.”
Significantly, praise for Trump’s move was not limited to the governing coalition. Predictably, members of the Joint List Party slammed the president for “endangering all of our security” and reaffirmed the group’s commitment to “dialogue and agreements.”
But Zionist parties unanimously said the move was the correct one. “I congratulate President Trump for his steadfast stance alongside Israel,” said Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid. “Now, we must gather all our diplomatic strength in order to ensure that the Iranians, the Chinese and the Russians join this process and prevent Iran from returning to developing a nuclear weapon.
“Just as I supported the government’s efforts to nix the agreement in the past, now, too we will not act with ‘opposition vs. coalition’ considerations, but rather to restore sanctions and to block Iran,” Lapid said.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder on Tuesday praised President Trump’s decision to allow sanctions to go forward on Iran, calling it an “unmistakable message to Iran and its allies that its very real threats against the United States and all other free and democratic nations in the world will not be tolerated.”
“Iran is a rogue nation ruled by a regime that cannot be trusted to honor its word, and even more so with nuclear capabilities that would enable it to wreak havoc on the world and cause a catastrophic arms race in the region,” Lauder said. “President Trump has taken a courageous step today in making it ever clear to the Islamic Republic that he will not stand by in silence as it continues to subvert the nuclear agreement and exploit the good faith of the international community. We urge other countries to follow this administration’s example and not allow Iran to flout international law.”
Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued a statement to the media immediately following Trump’s announcement.
“The President’s declaration reflects frustration with Iranian behavior following the implementation of the JCPOA. While there are some differences of views as to the most effective approach, the Conference of Presidents has clearly and consistently called for an agreement which would ensure that Iran never obtains a nuclear weapons capability that would augment its ability to create mayhem in the region through its support of terrorism,” they said.
“Today’s announcement, we hope, will create an opportunity to accomplish these goals. We hope that a more comprehensive arrangement with stricter compliance rules, a prohibition against the development of long and short-range ballistic missiles, any weaponization program, and, of course, human rights violations, will become a reality. Sanctions targeting banking and energy sectors of the Iranian economy should be imposed. We hope that our European Allies will join in this endeavor. More effective compliance measures without sunset clauses, and giving inspectors unfettered access to military and other barred sites, should be included. The threat that Iran poses to Israel, its neighbors, and the world at large, mandates a comprehensive approach.”
Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, the executive vice president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America/ Igud HaRabbonim said in an e-mailed statement to the media, “The president’s courageous decision to abrogate US involvement in the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal has sent an unequivocal message to Iran that the forces for world peace will no longer permit the rogue nation to continue on the path of creating a nuclear arsenal and funding terrorism around the globe.
Rabbi Mirocznik continued: “For many years, Iran has been threatening the sovereign state of Israel with mass annihilation. They are the sole financial sponsors of such reprehensible terror networks as Hezbollah and Hamas; whose rasion d’etre is to murder Israelis and Jews throughout the world. For these reasons and much more, Iran is deserving of crippling sanctions and global condemnation.”
The Los Angeles based Simon Wiesenthal Center has also commended President Trump for his announcement.
“A regime that serially celebrates the denial of the Nazi Holocaust—history’s most documented genocide— ever took place, can be relied upon to lie about its commitments to the international community,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier, founder and dean and Abraham Cooper, associate dean.
“Lying is the National Anthem and Magna Carta of the Ayatollah’s regime,” they added.
“Proof of the Ayatollah’s perfidy about its drive to nuclear development was uncovered by Israeli intelligence and is proof positive that Tehran cannot be trusted on life and death issues impacting the region and the world,” Hier and Cooper continued.
“Leaving the status quo with Iran awash with billions of US taxpayer’s cash, would only ensure a growing circle of violence and terrorism in the region and ultimately could help pave the way for a nuclear arsenal that could reach our shores,” they concluded.
By: Fern Sidman