Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer on Monday praised President Donald Trump's new strategy toward Iran, debating the panel on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" over how to address the nuclear deal and Tehran's aggression in the Middle East.
Dermer lauded Trump's speech on Friday in which he announced that the U.S. will decertify the Iran nuclear deal and launch a new strategy to counter the Iranian regime's "destabilizing activity and support for terrorist proxies in the region." Many Democrats and others who supported the 2015 agreement brokered by the Obama administration, along with other countries, derided Trump's remarks, while critics of the deal welcomed the new strategy.
"Iran is the largest source, the biggest problem of so many conflicts in the Middle East, and finally the president of the United States has stood up to Iran," Dermer said. "This was a historic day on Friday, and I hope it leads to a change in policy."
Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, challenged Dermer's arguments and Trump's move to decertify the nuclear accord, saying that the U.S. could push back against Iran in the Middle East and negotiate a follow-on nuclear agreement by staying in the current deal.
Dermer responded that the U.S. can stay in the deal and improve it, arguing that Trump gained leverage in future negotiations by issuing a "credible threat" to leave the agreement if it is not improved. He later added that the accord's so-called sunset provisions, under which key limitations on Iran's nuclear program expire in about a decade, put the Islamic Republic on "cruise control toward nuclear weapons."
"We are facing a situation where in several years all of these restrictions will be removed and Iran will not have to sneak in or break into the nuclear club; they will be able to walk into the nuclear club," Dermer said.