Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded US President Donald Trump on Friday evening for deciding not to recertify the nuclear deal with Iran, which he has been openly opposing since its inception in 2015. "I congratulate President Trump for his courageous decision today. He boldly confronted Iran's terrorist regime," the prime minister said in a video statement he released in English.
Moments after Trump declared a new and tougher US policy on Iran, leaving the US Congress to decide whether or not to impose new sanctions on Tehran, Netanyahu asserted that "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 tremendous danger for our collective future."
"President Trump has just created an opportunity to fix this bad deal. To roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism," Netanyahu continued.
"That's why Israel embraces this opportunity. And that's why every responsible government, and any person concerned with the peace and security of the world, should do so as well," he stressed.
In September, Netanyahu expressed once more his deep dissatisfaction with the nuclear accord, telling the United Nations General Assembly in a speech that the the deal with Tehran is bad.
"Fix it or nix it. Change it or cancel it," he urged at the time. Netanyahu warned that "an Iranian curtain is descending across the Middle East. It spreads this curtain over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere and pledges to extinguish the light of Israel."
However, the prime minister also noted that while Israel is facing an imminent threat that could further evolve should Iran remain unchecked, he had a simple message to what he often terms a "rogue terrorist regime."
"I have a simple message for Khamenei: The light of Israel will never be extinguished."
But other Israeli officials were less enthusiastic about Trump's speech announcing that the nuclear accord will be decertified by the US, which is also slated to impose new sanctions on elements linked to the deal, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Speaking to Channel 2 following Trump's speech, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said that he thought the US president's speech was "very significant" but that he belived it could trigger a war with Iran.
"I think that the speech was very significant. Iran is the new North Korea. We see where things are going," Katz stated.
Avi Gabbay, the recently-elected new head of the Zionist Union party who many predict could replace Netanyahu one day, echoed the prime minister's sentiment over Trump's announcement.
"I welcome Trump's decision to financially hurt the terror system of the Revolutionary Guard," Gabbay stated Friday evening. "The next stage- fixing the agreement and lengthening it so that Iran can't go back to enriching uranium," he expressed his hope.
Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union), who formerly served as Israel's Foreign Affairs Minister, also lauded Trump for his strong stance.
"Justifiability President Trump is dealing with the Iranian danger in general. The Revolutionary Guards, the support of terror and the missile program- the immediate threats that were not handled in the deal and demand an answer," Livni tweeted moments after Trump concluded his speech.
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