Netanyahu hails 'historic' Iran sanctions, says his fight against world paid off

Prime minister thanks Trump as new penalties against Tehran go into effect after pullout from nuclear deal, claims move will put Iranian regime ‘in a choke hold.’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Likud party faction meeting at the Knesset on November 5, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday praised US President Donald Trump’s “courageous, determined and important decision” to reinstate all US sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, saying the move was a direct result of his own efforts against the deal.

“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 opening of his Likud faction meeting in the Knesset.

“This day is a historic day,” Netanyahu said. ”I would like to again thank President Donald Trump again for a courageous, determined and important decision. I think this contributes to stability, security and peace.”

Monday’s sanctions are the second batch the Trump administration has reimposed on the Islamic Republic since withdrawing from the nuclear agreement earlier this year.

The rollback ends US participation in the Obama-era accord, which now hangs in the balance as Iran no longer enjoys the billions of dollars in sanctions relief it was granted under the deal in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Israel, which considers Iran an existential threat and opposed the deal from the beginning, broadly welcomed the US’s exit from the deal and the reimposition of sanctions.

Netanyahu, who personally lobbied world leaders against the deal and since its signing, has called for it to be canceled said, “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 said that the sanctions, particularly targeting Iran’s banking sector would put “Iran’s terrorist regime in a large choke hold.”

Iran is already in the grip of an economic crisis. Its rial currency lost more than two-thirds of its value since May and now trades at 145,000 to one US dollar, down from 40,500 to $1 a year ago.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry also hailed the US sanctions as “an important step in curbing the regime’s aggression. They should be enforced by all governments that aim to promote stability and prevent terrorism in the Middle East and beyond.”

The Foreign Ministry linked the Islamic Republic’s support for terrorism, including alleged plots in Europe, to its nuclear program.

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.

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