JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had been urging the US "to fix or nix" the Iranian nuclear deal, has supported President Donald Trump's "bold decision" to walk out of it, saying the agreement did not reduce Tehran's aggression but dramatically increased it.
Trump has announced that he was withdrawing the US from what he called the "decaying and rotten" Iran nuclear deal signed by the Obama regime in 2015.
"Israel fully supports President Trump's bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran.
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 paved Iran's path to an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs, and this within a few years' time," he said in televised address soon after Trump announced the withdrawal from the deal, and backing severe economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
With the tensions escalating at Israel's northern border with Syria, where Iranian forces have a major presence today, the Netanyahu stressed that "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, and we see this across the entire Middle East.
Since the deal, we have seen Iran's aggression grow every day - in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Yemen, in Gaza, and most of all, in Syria, where Iran is trying to establish military bases from which it can attack Israel," he asserted.
The Israeli Prime Minister said that "despite the (nuclear) deal, the terrorist regime in Tehran is developing the ballistic missiles capability, ballistic missiles to carry nuclear warheads far and wide, to many parts of the world".
Referring to his last week's "expose" of thousands of documents and 183 CDs at a press conference, showing Iran's detailed programme to acquire nuclear weapons, Netanyahu said that "Iran has intensified its efforts to hide its secret nuclear weapons programme" since then.
Applauding Trump's move, he said, "So if you leave all of this unchanged, all this combined is a recipe for disaster, a disaster for our region, a disaster for the peace of the world".
"This is why Israel thinks that President Trump did an historic move and this is why Israel thanks President Trump for his courageous leadership, his commitment to confront the terrorist regime in Tehran and his commitment to ensure that Iran never gets nuclear weapons, not today, not in a decade, not ever," he concluded.
The Israeli military has ordered communities in the Golan Heights, bordering Syria, to open public shelters amid reports of "irregular Iranian movements" near its northern border.
Israel is bracing for a possible Iranian "revenge" attack for an alleged Israeli attack on an Iranian base in Syria last month in which nine Iranian commanders are said to have been killed.
Officers from the intelligence agency and other specialised forces are said to have been called up, though reserve combat units have not been drafted as Israeli military bases seemed preparing for a possible Iranian attack.
Many Israeli leaders, including Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, have welcomed the US move, terming it as an important and significant step in ensuring the security of the entire free world.
"The decision made by the US President constitutes an important and significant step in ensuring the security of the State of Israel, the security of the region and the security of the entire free world," Rivlin said.
Israeli leaders claimed that Trump's decision could be seen as Netanyahu's one of the greatest foreign policy achievements, on par with or even greater than the US President's declaration recognising Jerusalem as Jewish nation's capital.
Netanyahu was bitterly criticised for going to the US Congress in 2015 to speak out against the looming Iran deal, arguing that the speech would inevitably fail to scuttle the agreement and needlessly anger then President Barack Obama.
Some of the critics had later noted that indeed Obama took revenge on Israel by not vetoing an anti-settlements resolution at the UN Security Council in December 2016.
An analyst for Times of Israel commented that Netanyahu's camp can now feel vindicated by Trump's announcement to gut one of Obama's key foreign policy achievements, with the yesterday speech reading "as if it had been written in Jerusalem".
Trump even mentioned Israel's revelation last week of Tehran's secret atomic archive, saying it "conclusively" proved the regime's history of seeking nuclear weapons.