Ahead of Meeting With Trump, Netanyahu Says Israel Wants U.S. 'To Fix or Cancel' Iran Nuclear Deal

Associates of the prime minister are hopeful that Netanyahu will be able to convince Trump to declare Iran in violation of the agreement when he addresses Congress on the matter in October

U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands at the Israel museum in Jerusalem, May 23, 2017.
Sebastian Scheiner/AP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that the nuclear deal with Iran was "bad" and that Israel's position was that the U.S. should "either fix it or cancel it." Netanyahu made his comments to the press after his meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri at his Buenos Aires residence.

In ten days, Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump when they both are in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. The Iranian issue, and especially the future of the nuclear agreement, will be one of the main topics that the prime minister is expected to bring up with Trump.

On October 15, Trump will have to inform Congress whether Iran is complying with or violating the nuclear agreement. A presidential statement of the latter is likely to pave the way for the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran's nuclear program and an American withdrawal from the agreement signed by Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

Since Trump's triumphed in the November elections and even after he entered the White House in January, Netanyahu has spoken several times both publicly and privately that he is attempting to persuade Trump to cancel the nuclear agreement with Iran. In July, when Trump had to report to Congress whether Iran was violating the agreement, Netanyahu was disappointed that the American president had been persuaded by his advisers not to cancel the agreement. However, Netanyahu's associates believe that there is a possibility Trump may yet be convinced before October to announce that Iran is violating the agreement.

However, ahead of October, Netanyahu's associates believe that there is a possibility that this time Trump will announce that Iran is violating the agreement.

Speaking at a counterterrorism event in Herzliya the preceding day, Intelligence Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said: "The first mission of the Israeli prime minister during his upcoming visit to the United States is to demand that the U.S. president suspend, amend or annul the nuclear agreement with Iran,” said Katz. “Iran is the new North Korea. Action should be taken against it now, lest we regret tomorrow what we did not do yesterday.”