Netanyahu to AIPAC: Trump's ban on nuclear deal most vital event of 2018

The meeting was attended by the president of AIPAC, Mort Friedman, outgoing president, Lillian Pinkus, and 60 administrative members of the organization.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with AIPAC members in Jerusalem (photo credit: PMO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with AIPAC members in Jerusalem
(photo credit: PMO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Wednesday that the US withdrawal from the 2016 nuclear deal with Iran was the most important event of 2018, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office.
"The most important thing that happened in the last year in the Middle East was President Trump's decision to leave the nuclear deal which led to a weakened the Iranian economy," Netanyahu said.
"The nuclear deal put money in Iran's pocket and from there the money went straight to Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas," Netanyahu continued. "Another dramatic event was our military operation to remove Iran's military foundation in Syria."
The meeting was attended by the president of AIPAC, Mort Friedman, outgoing president, Lillian Pinkus, and 60 administrative members of the organization.
President Donald Trump withdrew the US from a landmark nuclear deal with Iran and five other world powers, isolating the country from its closest European allies, putting the agreement on life support and setting up a new showdown with Tehran over its nuclear work in May of 2018.
Israeli government officials exalted the decision. "Israel thanks President Trump for his courageous decision," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated in a speech following Trump's announcement, calling his decision historic.
Iran's economy has faced instability in recent months with the national currency, the rial, fluctuating in value, making it difficult for ordinary people to make ends meet.
Sporadic protests linked to the tough economic situation have been led by truck drivers, farmers, workers, merchants and teachers, occasionally resulting in violent confrontations with security forces.
"The sanctions do put pressure on the country and the people," Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, according to a transcript on his website of a speech in Tehran to commemorate an event from the 1979 revolution.

Michael Wilner and Zachary Keyser contributed to this report.