Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with the foreign ministers of both France and Germany on Monday, reportedly telling them that U.S. President Donald Trump will with “very high probability” withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal on May 12. When asked about Netanyahu’s alleged comments, a White House spokesperson reiterated that “if changes aren’t made, the president is prepared to potentially withdraw from the agreement.” The Trump administration, which is currently pursuing side-negotiations with Paris, Berlin and London, has threatened to “nix” the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) unless a follow-on pact is devised that addresses the original deal’s “disastrous” flaws. In this respect, President Trump wants to void the so-called “sunset clauses” that remove restrictions on Tehran’s ability to enrich uranium in just over a decade; gain increased access to, and enhance inspections of, Iranian atomic facilities; and curb both the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program and “nefarious” regional activities, manifest in its involvement in the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. President Trump recently ousted members of his administration who urged him to stay in the JCPOA—namely, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster—and replaced them with more hard-line figures such as CIA Director Mike Pompeo and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nation John Bolton, who previously called for preemptively bombing Iran. Though Israel is not directly involved in side-talks with the Europeans, Jerusalem is, according to sources, being kept apprised of all developments by Washington.
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