Sputnik: What are your expectations for the remainder of Benjamin Netanyahu's European tour?
Chuck Freilich: Well, I think the meeting with Prime Minister May, just like with Chancellor Merkel and with President Macron, is a first opportunity for the Prime Minister to meet with them and to discuss how we go forward, following the US' decision to withdraw from the agreement. And there is broad agreement on the overall objective and the overall assessment; there are differences on how to get there. The EU fully agree with the US and Israel in this case that Iran was trying to reach a nuclear capability and it has to be prevented from doing so in the future; that Iran does present a severe threat to the regional stability and can never be allowed to achieve a nuclear capability and that its ballistic missile program must be limited and its attempts to expand its regional influence, first and foremost in Syria and Lebanon.
So, in terms of the overall strategic picture there is agreement. There is disagreement, of course, on how to get there. The Europeans wanted to keep the nuclear deal, the so called JCPOA and as for now, at least the US has walked out of it. And I think what we'll get to see in the nearest future is that Europeans who are so intertwined with the United States, really don't have much of an alternative but to go along with the American policy.
Sputnik: Do you think that they will go with the American policy? It seems that Netanyahu hasn't had any luck in convincing Angela Merkel or Macron to exit the deal.
Chuck Freilich: No. I don't think that was the goal. I think the goal was to coordinate positions is too strong of a term, but to understand how we go forward. The Europeans would like to preserve the agreement and I think it's important that it will remain in place as a means of limiting Iran's nuclear activities until some new agreement or other resolution of the issue can take place. This is not what Europeans prefer. But the reality is that for economic reasons they have no choice in the end but to go along with the American policy. It will probably take another month or two before this realization fully sets in.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.