US President Donald Trump has said the United States and Israel will never allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, even though the Islamic Republic has already made it very clear that it has no desire or program to develop one.
“The United States and Israel can declare with one voice that Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon – never, ever – and must cease its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias, and it must cease immediately,” Trump said after a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem al-Quds on Monday.
Trump flew to Israel from Riyadh earlier in the day where he told a gathering of Muslim and Arab leaders that the United States seeks “a coalition of nations” to stamp out extremism in the Middle East.
While speaking in the Saudi capital on Sunday, the US president attacked Iran and accused the Islamic Republic of being the source of “so much instability in the region.” He said, “For decades Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.”
Trump told the Israeli president on Monday he was very encouraged by his conversations with Arab leaders.
“Many expressed their resolve to help end terrorism and the spread of radicalization. Many Muslim nations have already taken steps to begin following through on this commitment,” he said.
Israelis, Arabs have ‘common cause’ against Iran
“There is a growing realization among your Arab neighbors that they have common cause with you in the threat posed by Iran,” Trump told Rivlin.
Trump’s anti-Iran rhetoric comes as the longstanding Western dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program was settled after the conclusion of a landmark nuclear agreement in 2015. UN Security Council Resolution 2231 also endorsed the nuclear deal, which went into effect in January 2016.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also confirmed Iran’s commitment to the terms of the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China — plus Germany started implementing the JCPOA on January 16, 2016.
The deal limited parts of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program in exchange for the complete removal of all sanctions against the country.
But despite all this, Trump has adopted a hostile policy towards Iran since his inauguration on January 20.
He has repeatedly vowed to cancel the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group, and his administration has imposed new sanctions on multiple Iranian individuals and entities.
Trump selected Saudi Arabia for his first overseas trip and Israel, the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, for his second destination. According to observers, this signals that the US president is willing to embrace the regimes that are accused of widespread human rights violations, and are considered main sponsors of terrorism in the Middle East.