PM Netanyahu lauds Trump's withdrawal from nuclear deal
Responding to American decision to pull out of nuclear deal, PM Netanyahu says Trump's decision was 'wise, courageous,' adding deal would have allowed Iran to enrich uranium within a few years' time; Israel determined to prevent Iranian entrenchment in Syria, PM adds, saying Israel will respond forcefully to threats to its sovereignty.
"Had the deal remained in place," Netanyahu continued, "it would have allowed Iran to enrich enough uranium within the span of a few years to create an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs."
"In addition, the deal has already funneled Iran billions of dollars to finance its war machine throughout the Middle East," the premier added.
"That's what it does today, when it does not possess a nuclear arsenal, and I ask you to consider what it might do when it attains one," he said ominously.
The prime minister then went on to say, in light of security tensions in the north and the IDF's decision to open bomb shelters in the Golan Heights, that, "For months Iran has been sending its forces in Syria deadly weapons to harm Israel, and has explicitly stated its goal was to use Syria as a forward operating base from which to attack us."
"We are determined to prevent Iranian entrenchment in Syria. We will respond forcefully to any infringing of our sovereignty. The army is prepared and strong. Anyone who tries us will feel our might," Netanyahu concluded.
Lieberman: 'A brave step'; Rivlin: 'Significant step to ensuring Israel's security'
Minister Avigdor Lieberman commented on Trump's speech as well, saying, "The leader of the free world told the ayatollahs' regime in a clear, decisive voice: Enough! Iran is a dictatorship that supports and finances terrorism and death the world over. Iran itself is a terroristic entity that aspires to attain nuclear weapons."
"This is a courageous leadership step that will culminate in the fall of this terrible, cruel regime," Lieberman concluded.
President Reuven Rivlin offered his remarks on the matter, saying, "The decision made by the president of the United States constitutes 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," Rivlin continued, "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," the president concluded.
Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid joined the chorus of greetings, saying, "We must mobilize all of Israel's political forces to ensure the Europeans, Chinese and Russians join the move and prevent Iran from resuming the development of nuclear weapons."
"As I have acted alongside the government before to have this bad nuclear deal annulled, we will make no calculations of opposition or coalition again and work to have sanctions reimposed and Iran blocked," he vowed.
Trump: 'We will not allow Iran access to the most dangerous of weapons'
Speaking at the White House, President Trump said, "I want to update the world on our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror. It fuels conflicts across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies and militias, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda."
"Over the years, Iran and its proxies have bombed American embassies and military installations, murdered hundreds of American service members, and kidnapped, imprisoned, and tortured American citizens," the president stated.
"In 2015, the previous administration entered into a deal regarding Iran's nuclear program, the deal was called the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—ed). In theory, the so-called Iran deal was supposed to protect the United States and our allies from the lunacy of an Iranian nuclear bomb," Trump explained.
The president continued, "The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions, on Iran, in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s nuclear activity. A constructive deal could have easily been struck at the time. But it wasn't. This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made. It didn’t bring calm, it didn't bring peace, and it never will.
"Not only does the deal fail to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but it also fails to address the regime’s development of ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads. America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. And we will not allow a regime that chants 'Death to America' to gain access to the most deadly weapons on Earth.
"I announced last October that the Iran deal must either be renegotiated or terminated. Three months later, on January 12th, I repeated these conditions. I made clear that if the deal could not be fixed, the United States would no longer be a party to the agreement.
"It is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement. Therefore, I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal."