There was a disturbing confession at Trump’s latest press conference, and it’s being totally ignored

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Tracy Keeling

On 15 February, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a press conference. In it, they made an alarming confession that will be welcomed by Daesh (Isis/Isil).

The target

Early in his initial address at the conference, Trump said:

The security challenges faced by Israel are enormous, including the threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which I’ve talked a lot about. One of the worst deals I’ve ever seen is the Iran deal.

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Netanyahu later praised Trump’s “great clarity and courage” in challenging “radical Islamic terror”. He continued:

You call for confronting Iran’s terrorist regime, preventing Iran from realizing this terrible deal into a nuclear arsenal. And you have said that the United States is committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

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But a deal to prevent Iran getting nuclear weapons is already in place. The Obama Administration negotiated it in 2016. Yet Israel maintains that Iran is a nuclear threat. Iran, meanwhile, says the same about Israel. The difference being that Israel actually has a stockpile of nuclear weapons.

Israel’s problems with Iran, however, go far beyond nuclear issues. And so far, Trump seems entirely willing to seek confrontation with Iran, too. His administration has misleadingly called Iran “#1 in terror”, mistakenly accused it of attacking a US naval ship, and put it ambiguously “on notice“.

The alarming confession

Weakening or confronting Iran, however, would suit Daesh perfectly. Because it also hates the country and the religion that most of its citizens follow. The terror group (which follows the fringe ideology of Wahhabism) sees Shia Muslims as apostates, and has murdered Shia civilians on numerous occasions. And Iran has been helping to fight against the group on multiple fronts.

Back at the press conference, meanwhile, Netanyahu regularly hinted that Israel had a rare opportunity to deal with Iran. He said:

for the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but, increasingly, as an ally.

And Trump acknowledged that he had been discussing Israel’s “newfound Arab partners” with Netanyahu. He said this “much bigger deal” would “take in many, many countries”. Neither leader revealed which Arab countries they were alluding to. But Saudi Arabia is almost certainly on the list. For Israel and Saudi Arabia have seen a thawing of tensions over the last few years. And they share a common enemy: Iran. That is why a new alliance could be dangerous – and potentially very destructive.

If there is a US-Israeli-Arab alliance in the making to isolate Iran, however, that would almost certainly create further tensions with Iran’s allies (like Russia, for example). And by targeting one of Daesh’s biggest enemies, this alliance certainly wouldn’t be making the fight against the terror group any easier.

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Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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