When it comes to confronting the Iranian regime, without a doubt Israel has been fortunate in the past four years. The Trump administration’s Iranian policy has been in alignment with Israel’s objectives.
The maximum pressure policy served Israel’s interests as it significantly weakened the theocratic establishment of Iran on several fronts.
From the outset, the Israeli leaders were opposed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, and lobbied against it, partly due to the fact that it provided the ruling clerics of Iran with extra revenue.
The main beneficiaries of the nuclear agreement were not the ordinary Iranian people, but the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Quds Force, the Office of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the regime’s loyalists and proxies and militia groups across the Middle East.
Israel believed that the nuclear deal would empower and embolden its rivals, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Syrian regime.
In addition, the nuclear deal paved the way for lifting sanctions against Tehran. As sanctions against Iran were lifted during the Obama administration, it quickly became clear that those actions gave Iran global legitimacy in the eyes of the international community.
This newfound legitimacy and the lifting of sanctions generated billions of dollars in revenue for Iran’s military institutions — the IRGC and Iran’s militia and terror groups.
As Israel suspected, Tehran used that influx of revenues to expand its influence throughout the region, including in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon.
And the expansion campaign proved to be immensely successful.
The balance of power was in Iran’s favor until the current administration assumed office. One of the first things that the Trump administration did was to pull the US out of the nuclear deal.