The Israeli prime minister thanked President Trump for restoring economic sanctions against Iran, which continues to threaten the Jewish state.
By Associated Press and World Israel News Staff
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a staunch opponent of the 2015 nuclear agreement concluded with Iran by the Obama administration, said Saturday that President Donald Trump had made an “historic” decision by restoring sanctions against “the murderous terror regime in Iran that is endangering the entire world.”
In a statement released by his office, Netanyahu said, “The effect of the initial sanctions has already been felt,” referring to a severe financial crisis in Iran that has triggered popular protests.
The Trump administration restored sanctions targeting Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors on Friday, but carved out exemptions for eight countries that can still import oil from Iran without penalty.
Following the announcement, Trump tweeted a “Game of Thrones”-inspired movie poster image consisting of a photo of himself over which the phrase “Sanctions are Coming, November 5” was superimposed.
Later on Friday night, Trump issued a statement explaining, “Our objective is to force the regime into a clear choice: either abandon its destructive behavior or continue down the path toward economic disaster.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo maintained that the sanctions are “aimed at fundamentally altering the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” a goal he previously presented via a list of 12 specific demands that Iran must meet before the U.S. lifts sanctions.
The 2015 nuclear agreement left Iran flush with billions of dollars in revenues it had not been able to access. Critics of the deal in Israel and the U.S. produced evidence that Iran used the money to fund terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, prop up the Assad regime in Syria, and fight a proxy war in Yemen with its longstanding rival Saudi Arabia.
Those who opposed the deal also argue that it did not effectively address Iran’s nuclear ambitions, including its efforts to develop atomic weapons.
Trump repeatedly referred to the agreement as “horrible,” deeming it the “worst ever” agreement negotiated by the United States.
On Friday, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer expressed his support for Trump’s decision, tweeting, “Thank you, Mr. President, for restoring sanctions against an Iranian regime that vows and works to destroy the Jewish state.”