Netanyahu defeated the pundits

Source: Netanyahu defeated the pundits – Israel Hayom

Amnon Lord

Israel is the only country that felt the negative ramifications of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, in the form of Syria. Iran’s encroachment into Syria and its establishment of a threatening foothold there are a direct result of the deal.

Many in Israel’s defense establishment claimed that the Iranians were in complete compliance with the agreement. They chose to ignore the results: billions of dollars funneled into Iran, international legitimacy, removal of international pressure on Iran, and Iran rushing to worm its way into other Middle East nations from Yemen to Syria and Lebanon.

The U.S. withdrawal from the deal, which was coordinated with Israel, puts the pressure back on Iran, which now needs to decide how to conduct itself in the face of renewed hefty sanctions against it and under the clear threats U.S. President Donald Trump voiced. It appears that Iran will opt to continue to abide by the agreement. It may try to use Russia, China and Europe to cut off the United States, but the U.S. will bring Europe over to its side.

Israel played a very important role here. In contrast to the opinions of the various talking heads, former head of the National Security Council Brig. Gen. Yaakov Nagel said Tuesday that the information from the Iranian nuclear archive that Israel made public last week proves that Iran did violate at least two clauses of the nuclear pact. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s move changes Israel’s traditional policies. Rather than groveling or acting under the old refrain of “quietly, safely,” Netanyahu chose to make noise. He did this to force the international community to take action, after unmaking it as having signed a deal based on lies. He created international legitimacy for a preventative war in slow motion. The effective strikes against Iranian targets in Syria in the past few months, attributed to Israel, dealt Iran some serious blows. The diplomatic attack and the exposure of the Iranian nuclear documents put Iran on the defensive.

The reason why Israel’s defense and political leadership previously preferred to maintain quiet contact while declaring Iran to be a problem that should be addressed by the world rather than by Israel was the concern that high-profile diplomatic action could cause the world to take action against Israel’s own nuclear option. Netanyahu has shut the door on this approach and proved that groveling, accepted in the past, is now anachronistic.

As a country with power in the international arena, Israel can demand what it deserves and say what it has to say loudly and clearly.

Israel’s centrality in the new Middle East game can be seen in the prime minister’s visit to Moscow Wednesday. He was invited to participate in a parade marking the victory over Nazi Germany, as well as meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. At the beginning of Trump’s term, many noted that Netanyahu was in a unique position that could allow him to mediate between the U.S. and Russia. This is not something that is being openly discussed, because it is not a position Israel wants to be in. But maybe some ideas will be raised that could make Russia a positive force in the Middle East. Israel’s positions carry more weight now that the missile stockpiles in Syria have been destroyed. The Iranians are more aware than ever that Israel is indeed capable of taking out their nuclear facilities.

In the U.S., Trump supporters are comparing his decision to pull out of the nuclear deal to President Ronald Reagan’s leaving the nuclear disarmament talks with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik in 1986. They believe Regan’s escalation of the arms race caused the Soviet Union to collapse some three years later. This may be Trump and Netanyahu’s goal when it comes to Iran. If the pressure on Iran leads to a new agreement that fixes the problems in the existing deal and can check Iranian advancement in Syria, it will be an immense achievement.

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