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January 16, 2019 2:06 pm

Israel’s Netanyahu Praises US Pullout From Iran Nuclear Deal as ‘Most Important Thing’ to Occur in Middle East in Past Year

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a visiting AIPAC delegation in Jerusalem, Jan. 16, 2019. Photo: Haim Zach / GPO.

US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal was the “most important thing that happened in the last year” in the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted on Wednesday.

Trump’s move — announced in May – “caused a tailspin in Iran’s economy,” the Israeli leader told a visiting American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) delegation at a meeting in Jerusalem.

“What the nuclear deal did was fuel Iran’s coffers, and from these coffers, they put it right into Syria, right into Hezbollah, right into Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

“The second most dramatic thing that happened,” he added, “is our military activity in Syria to deprive Iran from basing itself militarily against us in Syria.”

On Tuesday, at the installation ceremony of new IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the prime minister warned Iran over its presence in Syria, telling it to “get out of there quickly” or face further Israeli military action.

This threat was dismissed by the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Wednesday as a “joke.”

Iran “will keep all its military and revolutionary advisers and its weapons in Syria,” Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency.

Watch Netanyahu’s remarks to the AIPAC delegation below:

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