TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday lauded President Donald Trump’s “courageous, determined and important decision” to reimpose sanctions on Iran, saying the move was a direct result of his own efforts against the Iranian threat.
“For many years I have devoted my time and energy to the war against the Iranian threat. On this issue I went up almost against the whole world. Today we see the results of this long and ongoing struggle,” Netanyahu said at the start of a Likud meeting.
“This day is a historic day,” Netanyahu said. “I would like to thank President Donald Trump again for a courageous, determined and important decision. I think this contributes to stability, security and peace.”
“This is a very big day for the State of Israel. This is a great day for the people of Israel. This is a great day for the future of Israel,” he stated.
He added that the sanctions, in particular those on its financial institutions and banking sector, would put “Iran’s terrorist regime in a large choke-hold.”
On Saturday, Netanyahu noted the current state of Iran’s currency, which has lost more than two-thirds of its value since last May.
“The effect of the initial sanctions is already being felt — the rial is at a low, Iran’s economy is depressed and we’re already seeing results on the ground,” he said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday told reporters in Washington, “The Iranian regime has a choice: it can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble.”
He added: “We hope a new agreement with Iran is possible. Rest assured, Iran will never come close to getting a nuclear weapon on President Trump’s watch.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Tehran’s export of terror and its nuclear program were inextricably linked.
“A common thread runs through Iran’s illegal military nuclear plans, and its terrorist activity across the world. The two cannot be separated,” it added.
Defense Minister Avidgor Liberman said the sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors are the “sea change the Middle East has been waiting for.”
“In a single move, the United States is dealing a critical blow to Iran’s entrenchment in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq and Yemen,” he said. “President Trump, you’ve done it again! Thank you.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett told his Jewish Home party that Trump’s move “sends a loud message that terror does not pay.”
“Thank you for making the ayatollahs afraid again,” Bennett said.