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Ehud Barak: Iran Deal 'Bad,' But Still a 'Matter of Fact'

Ehud Barak

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that he believes with America pulling out of the Iran deal — but the P5+1 still in force, as European leaders have stressed — “some multinationals will feel more constrained in making deals” but may work through other countries to get around the restrictions.

“Probably the better way would have been to approach the allies, those who are willing, and establish a new forum to come and convince Iran to do more,” Barak told PBS, lauding President Trump’s speech as “good and coherent.”

“I thought it’s a bad deal when it was made, but once it was signed, it became a matter of fact,” he added. “…So, the most we can say is that we hope now that he might be able to convince the other participants of the deal, other parties to the deal, to move together with him. I doubt it.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Tuesday speech that he supported “Trump’s bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran.”

“Israel has opposed the nuclear deal from the start because we said that rather than blocking Iran’s path to a bomb, the deal actually paved Iran’s path to an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs, and this within a few years’ time. The removal of sanctions under the deal has already produced disastrous results. The deal didn’t push war further away, it actually brought it closer,” he said. “The deal didn’t reduce Iran’s aggression, it dramatically increased it, and we see this across the entire Middle East. Since the deal, we’ve seen Iran’s aggression grow every day — in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Yemen, in Gaza, and most of all, in Syria, where Iran is trying to establish military bases from which to attack Israel.”

“Despite the deal, the terrorist regime in Tehran is developing a ballistic missiles capability, ballistic missiles to carry nuclear warheads far and wide, to many parts of the world,” Netanyahu added. “And as we exposed last week, since the deal, Iran intensified its efforts to hide its secret nuclear weapons program.”

“So if you leave all of this unchanged, all this combined is a recipe for disaster, a disaster for our region, a disaster for the peace of the world.”

France’s foreign minister said today that French President Emmanuel Macron would be speaking with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani later in the day.

Jean-Yves Le Drian said that would be followed by high-level talks between Iran, Britain, Germany and France.

“The region deserves better than further destabilization provoked by American withdrawal,” Le Drian said. “So we want to adhere to it and see to it that Iran does too, that Iran behaves with restraint.”