Israel Hopes Scrapping Nuclear Deal Would Lead to Iran Regime Change

Israel's Push for Trump to Withdraw From Deal Part of Long-Term Plan

With President Trump’s May 12 deadline for withdrawing from the P5+1 nuclear deal looming, the Israeli government is pushing hard. According to analysts, this is less about the deal itself than about what killing the deal would lead to.

Netanyahu and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Israel believes that if the nuclear deal is killed, it will be damaging to Iran, and in the long run could lead to a regime change. Israel has been hoping for a regime change in Iran for decades, and seems to see this as their best bet.

It’s not clear how this is supposed to work. A generation of ever-mounting sanctions failed to ever substantially weaken the Iranian government’s hold on power. It’s not clear that the US killing the nuclear deal, at Israel’s behest,  would lead to a backlash against Iran.

Quite the contrary, the Russian government is envisioning trying to establish closer ties to Iran if the US kills the deal. It’s likely they aren’t the only ones, as many European nations also have business interests in Iran centered on the sanctions relief.

Israel is constantly making vague allegations that Iran is doing something untoward. In reality, Israel is going to great lengths to track Iranian activities, and hasn’t come up with anything. This is likely to convince most of the world that the collapse of the nuclear deal has nothing to do with Iran, and everything to do with Israel’s regional ambitions.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.