At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Trump and Netanyahu will try convincing skeptical European leaders that time is running out to change the Iran nuclear deal before the US leader “tears it up.” Can they succeed in their mission?
By Steve Leibowitz, World Israel News
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not a ‘lone wolf’ in Davos, Switzerland, this week, where he is trying to convince world leaders, especially from Europe, that there must be changes in the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the world powers in 2015. This time Netanyahu has the President of the United States firmly at his side with a unified message about the deal, which is “fix it or nix it.”
Israeli analysts say European leaders will likely not agree to re-open the agreement as demanded by Israel and the US, but they could get more positive feedback to demands that Iran end its ballistic missile program as well as its support for radical Islamic terror.
Dr. Gerald Steinberg of Bar Ilan University told World Israel News (WIN) that most European leaders are reluctant to engage in confrontation to reopen the matter. “Part of European reluctance has to do with contracts and jobs that were created when sanctions on Iran were lifted. But on the issue of demanding an end to Iranian ballistic missile testing, the Europeans can be convinced to take action,” Steinberg said.
Col. Eran Lerman of the Jerusalem Institute of Strategic Studies agrees that “Trump and Netanyahu cannot get backing on the nuclear deal but they can get Europe to take a stand on the missiles, and moderate Arab states are backing them up on this issue.”
Another issue of importance to the Europeans is that of Middle East refugees who continue to flood the continent, Steinberg told WIN. “Europe sees Syrian Sunnis being driven out of their country and reaching Europe. They realize that the refugees will never leave their countries until the Iran-controlled Assad regime allows it to happen,” he said.
According to Lerman, “Assad does not want to take back the millions of Sunnis who left the country. It’s a demographic issue for him.”
“The Europeans know that only Iran can force Assad to stop the flow of refugees. They will not do so until and unless there is real pressure. Only talking does not help,” Steinberg said.
Both analysts agree that the Europeans are willing to turn up the pressure on Iran, up to but not including a willingness to reopen the nuclear agreement.