JISS - The Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies

Prof. Efraim Inbar: It was quite clear that the Americans were not surprised by the speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu, and they knew about it in advance.

REUTERS / THE JERUSALEM POST, 09.5.2018

 

REUTERS / THE JERUSALEM POST, 09.5.2018

Iran is likely to continue its nuclear program when the nuclear deal expires, an expert said after US President Donald Trump’s announcement on US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

In a televised presentation on April 30, 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disclosed files allegedly obtained by Israel’s intelligence agency from Iran’s “secret nuclear archive”, saying the files prove Iran has secretly worked on nuclear weapons.

The nuclear deal, signed in July 2015, was designed to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the removal of international sanctions on Iran.

Even after the deal, Iran continued to preserve and expand its nuclear weapons know-how for future use at the Fordow nuclear testing site, said Netanyahu.

In Trump’s announcement, he specifically mentioned the so-called proof provided by Israel. However, many experts believe that the allies of the United States and Israel worked together for the “performance”.

“It was quite clear that the Americans were not surprised by the speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu, and they knew about it in advance,” said Efraim Inbar, president of Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies.

The 2015 accord between Iran and the world powers aims at curbing Iran’s nuclear plan. Netanyahu is a vocal opponent of the deal and has urged Trump to withdraw from it.

The withdrawal comes also amidst spiraling tensions in the region in the wake of several deadly airstrikes on military bases in Syria, allegedly carried out by Israel, in which Iranian citizens were killed.

As Iran is getting more and more involved in issues in Syria and Yemen in recent years, persuading the United States to suppress Iran on the pretext of the Iranian nuclear issue could be seen as a commonality between the two countries interests.

“[Israel is] of course very concerned about the Iranian behavior in the region. It’s not only Syria, it’s also what’s happening in Yemen, what’s happening in Lebanon, what is happening in Iraq. In all those places, we see very aggressive Iranian behavior, which is partly related to the JCPOA, because nuclear deal actually allowed Iran to receive a lot of money and suspension of sanctions. And the general perception in the region is that Iran was basically allowed to go on with its nuclear program when the nuclear deal expires,” said the expert.

It is widely believed that the US’s unilateral withdrawal from the deal will cause instability and new conflicts in the Middle East.

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