As the threat of open warfare between Iran and Israel escalates, experts and world leaders are divided on what President Trump’s decision to exit from the nuclear deal means in practical terms.
Trump has long criticized the 2015 deal limiting Iranian nuclear activity in exchange for sanctions relief, calling it “insane,” “ridiculous” and something that “should have never, ever been made.”
The agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was negotiated by the Obama administration, and accepted by Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members – China, Russia, France, United Kingdom, United States – plus Germany and the European Union.
While Trump’s decision to leave the JCPOA has renewed debate about the deal’s shortcomings and broader concerns about Iran, Israeli defense officials warned on Sunday that Iran may have its proxies fire missiles at military targets in northern Israel. A top Iranian official blamed Israel for last month’s missile barrage on the T-4 Air Base near Palmyra in central Syria and threatened to respond. Iran’s threats appear to go beyond words: in the last week Syrian rebels in southern Syria arrested a suspected Hizballah member who said he was awaiting orders to fire rockets at Israel.