Netanyahu Congratulates Trump for 'Courageous Decision' to Decertify Iran Nuclear Deal

Netanayhu says Trump has created an 'opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism'

US President Donald Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after delivering a speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. May 23, 2017
US President Donald Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after delivering a speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. May 23, 2017 MANDEL NGAN/AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday congratulated U.S. President Donald Trump for his "courageous decision" not to recertify the nuclear deal with Iran

>> Explained: What actually happens after Trump decertifies the Iran nuclear deal >>

"He boldly confronted Iran's terrorist regime," Netanyahu said. "If the Iran deal is left unchanged, one thing is absolutely certain. In a few years' time, the world's foremost terrorist regime will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons. And that's a tremendous danger for our collective future."

Netanyahu said Trump has created an "opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism."

"That's why Israel embraces this opportunity," Netanyahu said.

The prime minister's bureau said earlier that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Netanyahu on Friday to update him in detail about the new U.S. strategy toward Iran.

Senior Israeli defense officials said that Trump's speech constitutes a significant strategic turning point regarding U.S. policy in the Mideast. "It's a new era, no less," said one senior official. "Obama has forsaken the Middle East to Iranian-Shi'ite hands, and that's what Trump wants to change."

The Israeli opposition also welcomed Trump's speech. Israel's Labor leader Avi Gabbay said that the sanctions imposed by Trump on the Revolutionary Guard are the first positive step, after which the nuclear deal must be fixed and prolonged so that Iran cannot go back to enriching uranium. Gabbay also criticized Netanyahu's conduct on the Iranian issue over the past several years, saying "achievements are made in negotiating rooms and not through polished speeches."