Diplomacy

Former Israeli National Security Advisor: Iran Top Priority for Trump-Netanyahu Meeting

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s top priority in his meeting with President Donald Trump today will be discussing how their two countries can work together to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons capability, former Israeli national security advisor Yaakov Amidror told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday.

Amidror was optimistic that the new American administration would see the threat of a nuclear Iran in the same light as Israel does. He noted that the terms of the nuclear deal that Iran signed with global powers two years ago meant that it would be possible for Iran to have a “military nuclear capability” after 15 years, leaving Israel to face “a stronger Iran than before with legitimacy based on the agreement.”

There is now consensus between the leadership teams of the two countries that the deal is a bad one, Amidror noted. Because of this, he said that he expects that “cooperation can be better in the future” to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Amidror did point out that despite some disagreements with Jerusalem, the Barack Obama administration was “very determined to enhance the security, the intelligence and all these kinds of relations between Israel the Unites States of America.”

Amidror also highlighted Iran’s non-nuclear threats to Israel and the region, including its missile development, its support of terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and its alliance with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, all of which has created “a dangerous situation for the state of Israel.”

The two leaders will also discuss the Palestinian issue, Amidror predicted. He mentioned the possibility of leveraging the “historic moment” created by Israel’s strengthened relations with moderate Arab states, which have grown stronger due to their shared concerns about Iran and ISIS. This could be used to “build something totally new based on the same interests that we are sharing with so many Arab countries in the Middle East.”

Addressing the recent selection of Yahye Sinwar to head Hamas in Gaza, Amidror remarked that Sinwar’s promotion undermines Hamas’s efforts to present itself as more reasonable. It is now indisputable, he said, that “Hamas is a pure terror organization, and now it’s clear – led by a terrorist.”

Ultimately, Amdiror explained, the Trump-Netanyahu is important because it shows that the new president is “open to hearing the needs, the interests, and the advice of people from the Middle East, and the prime minister of Israel is one of the most important leaders in this case.”

[ Photo: Harvard Institute of Politics /  YouTube ]