Netanyahu: Iran deal effectively over and ‘companies are pulling out’
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Netanyahu: Iran deal effectively over and ‘companies are pulling out’

Israeli Prime Minister tells Policy Exchange think tank that European countries realise the economic realities of the end of the deal

Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at Policy Exchange, where he spoke about the end of the Iran nuclear deal
Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at Policy Exchange, where he spoke about the end of the Iran nuclear deal

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the Iran nuclear deal is effectively over, despite the continuing support of Britain and other European allies.

Mr Netanyahu, who who held talks with Theresa May in Downing Street on Wednesday, said the threat of US sanctions on companies which continue to trade with Iran had been decisive.

Speaking to the Policy Exchange think tank in London on Thursday he said: “The weight of the American economy forces the issue.

“If you are a European company or an Asian company or any company and you have to choose whether to do business with Iran or forgo doing business with the United States, you have to choose an economy that is about 3% the size of the American economy or you forgo an economy with 21 trillion dollars GDP, that’s a no brainer.”

His comments came despite Mrs May’s assertion that the UK, together with France and Germany, remained committed to the agreement – even though President Donald Trump has announced the United States is pulling out.

Mr Netanyahu, who also met French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier in the week, said, however, that in practice the Europeans accepted the “economic realities”.

“Companies are pulling out of Iran. And it is a good thing that they are pulling out of Iran because if we have learned anything it is stop aggressive tyrannical regimes early on,” he said.

“Don’t accommodate them, for god’s sake don’t feed them with cash. Stop them. That’s what I think is happening now.

“So I didn’t spend much time on that because I think it is done. It’s a done deal. My impression is that everybody understands the economic realities.”

Mr Netanyahu has long argued the deal – originally signed in 2015 when Barack Obama was president – was ineffective in constraining Iran’s ambitions to become a nuclear weapons power.

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