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Netanyahu lauds Trump's 'bold decision' to pull out of Iran deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday hailed President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' MORE's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the nuclear deal with Iran, saying the "disastrous" pact edged the region closer to war. 

"Israel fully supports President Trump’s bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran," Netanyahu said in a televised address, minutes after Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal.

Netanyahu claimed that the results of the 2015 nuclear deal — called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — ran counter to its intended goal of blocking Iran's path to a nuclear weapon. 

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"Israel has opposed the nuclear deal from the start, because we said that rather than blocking Iran’s path to a bomb, the deal actually paves Iran’s path to an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs," he said. "The removal of sanctions under the deal has already produced disastrous results.

"The deal didn’t push war further away; it actually brought it closer. The deal didn’t reduce Iran’s aggression; it dramatically increased it."

The deal — former President Obama's most significant foreign policy achievement — sought to drastically reduce Iran's ability to refine uranium, even for nonmilitary purposes, in exchange for sanctions relief from the U.S. and other countries.

But Trump and many conservatives argued that the agreement failed to permanently block Iran's path to a nuclear arsenal, while failing to address Tehran's other activities, such as its production and testing of ballistic missiles. 

Late last month, Netanyahu presented evidence that he said proved that Iran had entered into the 2015 nuclear deal under false pretenses. 

Still, international inspectors have repeatedly said Iran has remained in compliance with the terms of the deal, with the exception of a few minor infractions that were quickly corrected.

U.S. allies in Europe have sought in recent weeks to lobby Trump to remain in the deal, expressing concern that it could otherwise fall apart and allow Iran to continue its since-stalled pursuit of nuclear weapons.