Netanyahu Hails Trump's 'Brave Decision' to Quit Iran Nuclear Deal

Netanyahu called on the international community to follow Trump's lead, ditch the deal and reinstate sanctions

A TV in Jerusalem showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responding to U.S. President Donald Trump quitting the Iran nuclear deal, May 8, 2018.
THOMAS COEX/AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed U.S. President Donald Trump's "brave decision" to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, vowing that Israel would respond to any subsequent aggression.

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Netanyahu spoke shortly after Trump's announcement, claiming the deal only made Iran more aggressive rather than dampening its military ambitions.

"The deal would have allowed Iran to enrich enough uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs," he said.

Netanyahu went on to urge the international community to take further steps in three main areas: putting an end to "this bad deal" and prevent Iran from manufacturing an arsenal of nuclear bombs; reinstating sanctions following Trump's lead; and block the Iranian aggression in the region – particularly in Syria.

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Netanyahu said Israel will respond to any aggression. "Iran has declared its goal is to use syria as a forward base to attack us," he claimed.

Netanyahu also cautioned that israel will "forcefully respond to any strikes against our territory," adding that "our military is strong, whoever strikes us will feel our full force."

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Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also praised Tump's decision and Culture Minister Miri Regev went as far as calling his speech as momentous as the Balfour Declaration, saying that "the Balfour Declaration promised a Jewish home, the Trump one will preserve it forever."

Also on Tuesday night, the Israel Defense Forces ordered Israeli communities in the northern Golan Heights to open shelters to the public after identifying "unusual" movements of Iranian forces in Syria.

>> Israeli military believes Iran planning imminent retaliation; calls up some reserves >>

Israel believes Iran is determined to retaliate for the April 9 airstrike on Syria’s T4 airbase, which killed seven Iranian military advisers and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Iran blames Israel for this attack.