By Middle East Affairs
Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu will travel to Europe on Monday to try to convince European leaders to let the nuclear deal with Iran to dissolve.
Israel feels threatened by Iran, and in turn has been passionate about their distaste of the deal, Netanyahu will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May in hopes of swaying the eager European leaders from making efforts to salvage the deal that President Trump destroyed by announcing his decision to break away from the agreement.
The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between world powers and Iran, was created with the hopes of keeping nuclear weapons from Iran, Germany, France and the U.K. are members.
In next weeks talks, Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to vehemently oppose European leaders and their efforts to save the deal with Iran.
Ahead of his visit he has said, “I will discuss with them ways to block Iran’s nuclear aspirations and Iran’s expansion in the Middle East.” He also said that the Iran nuclear deal affects Israel’s security.
Netanyahu has spent years campaigning against the Nuclear deal, and found a friend in President Trump, with the two agreeing that the deal is too beneficial for Iran and not strict enough.
European leaders maintain that the deal is for the safety of the world because it keeps Iran away from pursuing nuclear projects, but Netanyahu has insisted that in fact brings Iran closer to its nuclear goals.
Another reason why Netanyahu doesn’t want to see the deal materialize is that lifting sanctions off of Iran would mean that their economy would have a chance to grow, Israel’s prime minister views a rise in Iran’s economic status as a threat to the region. Netanyahu said that Iran has used its newly acquired funds to grow its military campaign in the region and support Iranian fighters in Syria.
On May 10, tensions between Israel and Iran simmered to the point of military activity with Israel bombing an Iranian post, in return for Iran’s attack on Israel after Iranian forces killed Iranian soldiers. All of this has escalated relations between to the two nations and has set of worries that a war is imminent.
This week on Tuesday, Netanyahu said, “An Iranian departure from southern Syria alone will not suffice. The long-range missiles that Iran is working to the station in Syria will endanger us even beyond the range of several kilometers from southern Syria; therefore, Iran needs to leave Syria altogether.”
Despite efforts by the U.S. and Israel to accuse Iran of breaking its promise to stay away from developing its nuclear activities, European powers have insisted that Iran has abided by the deal’s standards.
A European diplomat said that Merkel, May, and Macron are willing to listen to Israel and the U.S. present new ideas for how to end Iran’s nuclear activities, but know that next meetings will not bring forward new alternatives.
This week also exposed Netanyahu’s orders to strike an attack on Iran within 15 days of him giving his order in 2011, despite a former Mossad chief saying that his orders were illegal.
Another issue to be discussed with European leaders and Netanyahu next week will be the Israeli- Palestine conflict which has also seen 119 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since March. This week saw the strongest sheiling between Israel and Gaza since the 2014 war, drawing fears that another war is very close.
On Friday, Israeli snipers killed a 21-year-old Palestinian medic that was treating the many wounded during the Palestinians protests to return home to their ancestral homes, a clear violation of international law as she was clearly a working medical professional administering aid.
The deadliest day, May 14 for Palestine saw Israeli snipers kill either with live bullets, rubber bullets, tear gas bombs 62 protestors and injuring more than 3000, some of who remain in critcal condition, among the killed was an eight-month-year-old infant whose lungs collapsed from the massive tear gas bombings that were unleashed on Gaza.
It is unlikely that next week’s talks with European leaders and Israel’s Prime Minister will lead to any solutions on the Israel-Palestine crisis.