U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro lost no time in raising the issue of the Iran nuclear agreement, following the news of Donald Trump’s electoral victory on Wednesday.
Shapiro said that the nuclear pact has been “very successful in doing exactly what it was designed to do, and that is to block systematically each pathway Iran had to achieve a nuclear weapon. Obviously we recommend the next administration continue [honoring the agreement], because it does fulfill that function,” The Times of Israel quoted him as saying.
While Israel’s opposition to the deal is a matter of historical record, Shapiro asserted that “there is no disagreement between the U.S. and Israeli experts about Iran’s adherence to the terms of the agreement.”
He made the remarks at a conference at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.
During the campaign, Trump said he would tear up the deal. “It’s the stupidest deal of all time,” Trump said. “It’s a one-sided transaction where we are giving back $150 billion to a terrorist state.”
Iran has been watching the election, and within hours of his acceptance speech early Wednesday morning, Tehran demanded that the U.S. live up to the agreement.
“The United States should fulfill its commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the nuclear deal) as a multilateral international agreement,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying while on a visit to Romania.
Regarding the decidedly pro-Israel stance of the president-elect, Shapiro indicated that Trump’s rhetoric may fall by the wayside once he faces the realities of office.
“Any new administration quickly has to learn that campaigning is very different than governing,” he said. “How one talks during a campaign often is about representing the hopes and dreams of those who you are seeking to attract support from.”
Shapiro went on to quote a well-known Israeli political saying, coined by Ariel Sharon, saying, in Hebrew, that “what you see from here is not what you see from there,” meaning that politicians often act very differently once elected and their perspective on issues changes.
Asked whether Trump will follow through on a promise to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim, Shapiro was skeptical.
“Every U.S. administration that has looked at the question has determined that the embassy is where it should be. I can’t speculate beyond that.”