08:09 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Trump-Netanyahu: Double-Teaming Tehran?

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    Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu will visit his close friend and political ally US President Donald Trump next week, during which time they'll likely discuss joint strategies against Iran.

    The Middle Eastern country has been at the forefront of global attention lately as Trump has carried through on his pledge to pursue a ‘hard line’ against the Islamic Republic, claiming that his predecessor was much too lenient on what the American President has since smeared on Twitter as being the world’s “#1 in terror”. This position perfectly aligns with what Netanyahu has been saying for years, showcasing that the US-Israeli Strategic Partnership has recovered from the tumult of the Obama years and is now on track to be stronger than ever. In fact, Trump even earlier suggested that he would seek to fundamentally renegotiate or outright scrap the Iranian nuclear agreement, a dramatic act which would surely please his Israeli friend if he actually goes through with it but could destabilize the entire Middle East.

    In the run up to possibly doing that, Trump has already imposed sanctions against a handful of Iranian business and individuals, a move which has evoked sharp condemnation from Tehran. The US says that the country’s latest ballistic missile test violates the nuclear accord, though Iran and even Russia refute this accusation. Nevertheless, when Trump’s triggered, there doesn’t seem to be any stopping him, and reports have since circulated that his administration is considering designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a “terrorist organization”. Should this happen, and there’s no clear indication whether it will or not, then this would – per the US’ “legal” and military doctrines – theoretically put any IRGC forces in Syria and Iraq in the crosshairs of Trump’s muscular “anti-terrorist” policy. If any IRGC units are present in Yemen, then they might also be targeted, too. Suffice to say, Israel would be more than pleased, so Netanyahu might lobby for this to happen during his visit.

    The two leaders definitely have a lot to talk about, but even amidst the disturbing questions swirling around Israel’s settlement policy and other such issues, it can be strongly inferred that Iran will nonetheless occupy center stage in their discussions, and that Trump and Netanyahu will come out of their meeting with a strong message for the Ayatollah.

    Andrew is joined by Gilbert Mercier, author of "The Orwellian Empire", editor in chief of "News Junkie Post" and geopolitical analyst, and Efraim Inbar, professor at Bar-Ilan University and the ‎founding director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

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    Tags:
    Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Israel, United States
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