Netanyahu trying to push US into war against Iran in favor of Israel: Expert

US President Donald Trump (L) bids farewell to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a meeting at the White House March 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

An American author and Middle East expert tells Press TV’s The Debate that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to have the United States wage a war against Iran.

The Israeli premier “and the hard right-wing Zionist extremists in Tel Aviv [are] trying to get the US to fight Iran for the benefit of Israel,” Kevin Barrett said on the program from Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday.

He cited an article published by The New York Times Magazine earlier in September, which had blamed Netanyahu for being “behind the US’s enmity with Iran.”

Barrett implicated the Israeli politician in the US’s departure last May from its multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran. Officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal had been signed in Vienna in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group of states comprising the US, the UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany.

The expert said when US President Donald Trump took power, “Netanyahu celebrated because he now owned the Oval Office,” and launched a push to make Washington “shred the JCPOA.”

The Israeli leader, Barrett said, did not enjoy as much leeway in the US foreign policy under former president Barack Obama as Trump is now offering him.

“When Obama took power, he had independence from Netanyahu, which led to a feud between the two, and that’s what allowed [creation of] the JCPOA,” Barrett said.

The comments came a day after Iran started a third phase of nuclear countermeasures to retaliate against the US’s withdrawal from the deal and its subsequent restoration of nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran as well as to make the deal’s European partners honor their contractual commitments to the Islamic Republic.

The third step saw Iran begin to inject gas into its faster and more advanced centrifuges. The previous steps have already witnessed the country surpass the 3.67-percent cap set by the JCPOA on its uranium enrichment activities and stop observing the limits on its stocks of enriched uranium and heavy water.

‘Iran trying to force Europe into pressuring US’

Brent Budowsky, columnist with The Hill, who had also joined The Debate from Washington, D.C., considered Iran’s most recent nuclear response to be “a terrible mistake” and “a horrible move,” commenting, “I don’t think it serves any purpose.”

He claimed that Tehran was undertaking the measures to force Europe into piling pressure on the US.

This is while “Europe has been the most responsible party to the whole thing,” Budowsky said.

“It doesn’t need pressure from Iran to try to move the United States. They’re [already] trying to do it. What this action (Iran’s countermeasure) will do is to hurt the Europeans in their effort to do it,” he added.

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