Eizenkot: U.S. Withdrawal From Nuclear Deal Was ‘Strategic Mistake’

Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot. (Flash90)

Former IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. (ret.) Gadi Eizenkot condemned the 2018 U.S. decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, calling it a “strategic mistake” in an interview published in Maariv.

According to Eizenkot, senior Israeli defense officials were kept in the dark prior to then-President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 agreement, which limited Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Eizenkot was commanding the IDF when the deal was signed.

“Only [then-Mossad chief] Yossi Cohen, [then-Israeli ambassador to the U.S.] Ron Dermer, and [then-prime minister] Binyamin Netanyahu dealt with this issue of leaving the nuclear deal. No one spoke with the defense establishment,” Eizenkot said.

Netanyahu was a staunch opponent of the deal when it was reached under the Obama administration and pushed for world powers to abandon the agreement before Trump pulled out.

Eizenkot said the U.S. withdrawal from the deal removed “certain shackles” from Iran, giving it “legitimacy” to advance its nuclear program.

“The sanctions are partial, there is no oversight, the Chinese and Russians aren’t cooperating with the Americans,” he explained.

When asked whether Israel alone was capable of striking Iran, Eizenkot said, “It’s complicated.”

The former general also criticized Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for ruling out a meeting with Robert Malley, the U.S. special envoy on Iran, before his visit to Israel in November.


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