Netanyahu expected to lobby Trump over Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to lobby Trump over the Iran nuclear deal
2 min read
18 September, 2017
The future of the Iran nuclear accord will take centre stage in talks between the US and Israeli leaders, amid ongoing discussions in Washington about its viability.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu [L] said the deal must be 'fixed or cancelled' [Getty]

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will propose "concrete ideas" regarding the Iran nuclear accord to US President Donald Trump, according to an Israeli government source cited by the Jerusalem Post.

The pair are due to meet on Monday in New York, amid ongoing debate over whether Washington should amend or scrap the 2015 accord.

"Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal. Either fix it - or cancel it," Netanyahu said during a visit to Buenos Aires on Tuesday.

In line with the deal - which was struck in 2015 under the watch of former US President Barack Obama - Iran agreed to stringent controls and inspections on its nuclear programme in exchange for sanction relief. 

Netanyahu and Trump are united in their scepticism and vocal criticism of the accord, despite support for the deal among their close colleagues and advisors.

Israel's intelligence establishment is reportedly in agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency's assessment that Iran is acting in accordance with the deal.

In the US, Trump  has shown an aggressive stance towards Iran with the implementation of further sanctions. Last Thursday, however, the president kept the deal alive by renewing exemptions to sanctions.

Netanyahu's meeting with Trump comes as the president prepares to make a decision on whether to re-certify the accord next month. 

According the US law, the agreement must be re-certified every 90 days. Trump has already done this twice so far during his presidency.

Critically, the meeting between the two leaders also comes ahead of Trump's rolling out of his plan for Iran in October.

Since his election campaign last year, Trump has maintained that the nuclear deal does not serve US interests.

On Thursday, he reiterated his belief that the deal is "one of the worst deals I've ever seen" and assured reporters that the US position will be further clarified "in a couple weeks".

Debates around the future of the accord have sparked a reaction in Tehran, with Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, saying last week that his country "will not give in to pressure and will not bow".