Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu will meet in New York on Monday, at the start of a week in which they intend to launch a concerted assault at the United Nations against the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
The US and Israeli leaders are expected to use their speeches to the UN general assembly on Tuesday to highlight the threat to Middle East stability and security represented by Tehran.
While anxiety about Iran’s expansive role in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon is widely shared, Trump and Netanyahu’s antipathy to the multilateral deal agreed in Vienna two years ago binds them together, even as it sets them apart from the overwhelming majority of other world leaders attending the annual UN summit.
Western allies in Europe – most notably the UK, France and Germany, co-signatories of the 2015 deal – remain committed to the agreement and have signalled they are willing to disagree sharply and openly with Trump on the issue.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN who made herself the principal channel for the president’s critique of the deal, has been a lonely voice against it on the security council.
On a visit to Buenos Aires on Tuesday, the Israeli prime minister declared: “Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal. Either fix it – or cancel it.” Netanyahu is supported in that position by his defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and the US ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer. But he is reportedly not backed by the Israeli defence and intelligence establishment, which believes Iran is abiding by the agreement and its strict limits on nuclear activities and stockpiles of fissile material...
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