JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – If Israeli Prime MInister Benjamin Netanyahu is walking with a little more spring in his step this week, it might be because he has his "old friend," US National Security Advisor John Bolton standing next to him at a podium, saying the kind of things about Iran that Netanyahu tried in vain for years to impart to the Obama administration.
Both Bolton and Netanyahu addressed reporters Monday before meeting on regional security in Jerusalem. Bolton called it "a question of the highest importance for the United States that Iran never get a deliverable nuclear weapons capability," adding "it's why President Trump withdrew from the wretched Iran nuclear deal. It's why he is re-imposing economic sanctions. It's why we've worked with our friends in Europe to convince them of the need to take stronger steps against the Iranian nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program."
Netanyahu expressed his appreciation that Bolton would come for three days of discussions before meeting with the Russians later this week in Geneva. The prime minister said President Trump's decision to pull out of the "disastrous Iran deal was nothing less than a hinge of history,"
He also urged countries that care about peace and security to "follow America's lead and ratchet up the pressure on Iran because the greater the pressure on Iran, the greater the chance the regime will roll back its aggression."
The other countries that joined the United States in signing the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran (China, Germany, France and the European Union) have often criticized President Trump's decision to back out of the deal and impose harsh sanctions on the Iranian regime.
But this summer, thousands have marched in the streets of Iran to protest against the government as the cost of living soars and the value of the Iranian currency plummets.
Bolton is making his first visit to Israel since becoming national security advisor in April. As he welcomed him to Jerusalem on Sunday, Netanyahu called Bolton a "tremendous friend of Israel, a tremendous champion of the American-Israel alliance."