Donald Trump meets with Barack Obama
Donald Trump meets with Barack Obama REUTERS

President Donald Trump ripped his predecessor over his handling of the US-Israel relationship and his administration’s pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran, culminating in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Speaking with Israel Hayom, President Trump boasted that he had strengthened the US-Israel alliance, while lamenting that President Obama’s administration had been “terrible” for the Jewish state.

"I think we are probably closer than ever before,” the president said in an interview published Sunday.

“But I feel much better if we can actually make a deal in terms of peace. I mean you certainly weren't very close with Obama, he gave you the Iran deal, which basically is a deal that says let's ultimately do bad things to Israel. Obama was terrible. He was absolutely terrible for Israel. I think our relationships are very good. I think they are probably as good as they have ever been."

Trump called the JCPOA “catastrophic” for Israel, but argued that despite its implementation by the Obama administration, the Tehran regime and its nuclear program could still be contained, suggesting that the Iranian government’s position was precarious.

“You see what is going on, they are having riots in the streets."

"The Iranian deal for Israel is catastrophic. Nothing less. I think it is catastrophic for Israel, in how it was done, how it was allowed to be done, how it was signed, how it was agreed to, it is rather incredible to me. It is a terrible deal for many parties, but I think in particular it is bad, really, for Israel."

When asked if he believed the Islamic republic’s hardline clerical leaders would still be in power by the end of his presidency, Trump replied “I expect to be here a long time,” adding “we will see.”

While the regime in Tehran has remained defiant and publicly rebuffed the Trump administration’s demand for a renegotiated JCPOA, the president claimed that Iran had already altered its behavior since his administration ‘put them on notice’.

"I have noticed very much a change in their behavior. But I am not going to comment as to what the change is. But there has definitely been a change."