Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to lobby the Trump administration to undo the Iranian nuclear deal in his first round of meetings during an upcoming trip to the U.S.
In an in interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” program, Netanyahu said he will present President-elect Donald Trump “quite a few” options to deal with Iran’s nuclear threat. “There are ways, various ways of undoing it.”
According to Netanyahu, ripping up the international accord will not result in Iran rushing towards developing a nuclear bomb. “I think Iran didn’t rush to the bomb before there was a deal,” he said, reversing a previous stance, “because they were afraid of retribution.
“I have about five things in my mind,” Netanyahu said about the options he will put forth in his meeting with Trump, without revealing them. “The only good thing I can say about the deal with Iran is that it brought the Arab states and Israel closer together.”
The Israeli prime minister also insisted that he would have launched the aggressive campaign against the Iran deal last year even if he would have has “the greatest of personal chemistry” with President Barack Obama. “You think I wouldn’t stand up against the Iran deal if I thought, as I did, that it endangers the existence of Israel? Of course, I would,” he said. “It was not borne of any disrespect because I have the greatest respect for him. I had then and I have now… I think that it’s my responsibility, to speak up when something threatens our very future.”
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Netanyahu said he is looking forward to U.S. mediation on moving forward on the basis of a two-state solution. “Yeah, I’d like to have President Trump, when he gets into the White House, help me work on that,” he told 60 Minutes. “I’d like to see if the Arab states can help me achieve that. It’s a new reality. A new possibility.”
In his first interview after his victory, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he views a possible peace agreement as “the ultimate deal,” and one that would love to help bring about, “for humanity’s sake.”
In a policy paper released 6 days before the election, Trump Israel advisors, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, recommended him to oppose the creation of a Palestinian state that forbids the presence of Christian or Jewish citizens, or that discriminates against people on the basis of religion, and not to pressure Israel to withdraw to borders “that make attacks and conflict more likely.”
In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Trump suggested he’s serious about getting his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, involved in the Middle East process. “I’d love to have Jared helping us on deals with other nations and see if we can do peace in the Middle East and other things,” the President-elect said. “He’s very talented. He’s a very talented guy. We’re looking at that from a legal standpoint right now.”