US President Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in an arena in Youngstown, Ohio, US July 25, 2017. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Like Cyrus of old, President Donald Trump has redrawn Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s red line in the said against Iran. The president has refused to recertify the Iran nuclear deal. Netanyahu, in a September 19, 2016 speech at the UN General Assembly said that Israel’s policy toward the accord was simple: "Change it or cancel it. Fix it or nix it."
Nixing the deal would mean restoring the massive pressure on Iran, including enacting crippling sanctions until Iran fully dismantles its nuclear weapons capabilities. There is no doubt that Trump is listening to the prime minister’s concerns. From the beginning, the president has called the Iran deal the worst deal ever.
White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said, “The president isn’t looking at one piece of this; he is looking at all the bad behavior of Iran. Not just the nuclear deal as bad behavior, but the ballistic missile testing, destabilization of the region, the number one state sponsor of terror, cyberattacks, its illicit nuclear program.”
Trump believes that Iran has violated the spirit of the agreement. One only has to look at Iran’s funding of Hezbollah, Hamas, and its Shia crescent, as well as proxies across the Middle East and in Syria through its support of President Bashar Assad to see how right the president is.
President Trump declared that the Iranian regime supports terrorism and exports violence, bloodshed, and chaos. A move by him now would mark the first step in a process that could eventually result in the resumption of US sanctions against Iran.
There is no question that he is correct. It is a toxic poison combining apocalyptic fanaticism with terrorism. In September 2010, I arranged the Fox New Networks first interview with then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York City with the assistance of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zavad Zarif. Just before the interview, all Iranian politicians were asked to leave as mullahs entered the room. They sat side-by-side in a line of chairs facing Ahmadinejad and praying to the Mahdi who they believe is the last descendant of Mohammad. They entreated him to empower their leader.
In meeting with Iranian ministers at their hotels for four years during UN gatherings, I noticed that the mullahs and their wives shopped at Macys. The last year, because of pressure from the sanctions, their purchases were cardboard boxes from hardware stores. The sanctions were affecting their purchasing ability and their needs. Barack Obama championed the $100 billion+ dollar Iran sanction relief package. He even gave $1.7 billion money he claimed was “owed” to Iran, in exchange for Iran’s tourism and culture.
On September 23, 1980, I had dinner with the Israeli prime minister’s senior advisor, Reuven Hecht in the home of Isser Harel, the director of the Mossad from 1952 to 1963. During that dinner I asked this question: “Who do you think will be elected president?” (Jimmy Carter was running against Ronald Reagan, and was ahead in the polls.)
Harel responded, “The Iranians will have something to say about that. When Ronald Reagan places his hand on the Bible during the Inauguration, the hostages will be released.” He spoke of the hostages that had been taken captive in the US Embassy in Tehran.
I looked at him in puzzlement, but his prediction proved to be true. On the morning of the Inauguration as Reagan placed his hand on the Bible my phone rang. On the other end was Dr. Hecht. The first words he spoke were, “Harel is a prophet. Are you seeing it?” What I didn’t know, that Harel did, was that Jimmy Carter was negotiating through the Algerians to buy back the hostages.
The Iranians finally agreed to the deal on the morning of Reagan’s Inauguration. Carter had $7.9 billion transferred from the Federal Reserve to the Bank of England. The money that Obama transferred was, he believed, money that Carter had withheld from the Iranians.
The author is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with 72 published books. He is the founder of Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem.