Question: You were telling me in the commercial break that today was the kind of day that you never thought you’d see.
DG: You pinch yourself while you’re at the ceremony to wonder whether you’re dreaming or is this really happening? But it was really happening.
Question: Let’s talk about Iran. Is pulling out of the deal making it less safe for Israelis or Americans? I mean critics are saying the president just opened up a big can in the Middle East. Did he? Is that what he did?
DG: I think people who say that don’t know what they’re talking about. The Iran deal is extremely dangerous for the State of Israel. It meant that the Iranians could build as many ballistic missiles as they wanted, and it meant that at the end of the period of time of the deal the Iranians could enrich as much uranium as they wanted, take the enriched uranium, put it together with the missiles that they can build, and you have a nuclear arsenal, and the Iran deal doesn’t prevent that from occurring.
Question: All right, so you know the minute we pulled out, we heard ambassador reports of Iran doing like these side deal situations with Europe, some European countries, so that maybe they could resolve or stay in the agreement. Now there are reports that maybe we would work with Europe. Where should we be in all of this with regard to France and Germany and the like?
DG: Look, I think ultimately the Europeans will come around and support the United States.
Question: No matter what we do?
DG: Well, it has to be within reason.
Question: I mean, do we have to get back to this deal in some way?
DG: No, you do not have to get back in this deal, and this deal is a threat to them. You know, the Iranians have been busy supporting terrorism on European soil, in Vienna, Austria, and Berlin, Germany, in Paris, and they’re the first ones who should have problems with it, and they have to be reminded of that.
Question: So moving forward now, you’ve got North Korea on one side, and we’ll get to that in a little bit, but with Iran, you know, it’s also the fact that they’re on the ground in Syria, and what we’re seeing – now that I’m here in Israel I totally get what’s happening. What they want to do is encircle Syria, I mean encircle Israel, so Iran puts troops on the ground in Syria, these proxy troops, and then you’ve got what happened on the Gaza Strip today, and then you’ve got Hizbullah on the Lebanon side.
DG: That’s absolutely true, and you’ve found the heart of Iranian strategy. I used to meet with Saudis and I’d say, “You know what they’re doing to you? They’re going into Yemen. They’re trying to go into Bahrain. Of course, they’re in Iraq. They’re encircling you.” That’s what they’re trying to do to us, and that is the Iranian approach: encircle your adversary. “You know, we’ve had Iranian missiles shot at Israel from Lebanon. They have Iranian missiles shot at them from Yemen. It’s the same strategy. They have to be defeated. They’re the cause of all the instability in the Middle East, and even now these poor young Palestinians who are going charging up to our fence are being pushed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who promoted this escalation of violence. They’re using the Palestinians to create a diversion, but we have to protect our border. Everybody has to protect this border from a mass invasion of people who want to come into your country.
Question: The president says that we have new respect around the world, the United States, and that he is dedicated to Middle East peace. Can you talk with me, before I let you go, just about that aspect of where we are today?
DG: The world is a very dangerous place. I think President Trump walked into a world with threats everywhere, and frankly countries are waking up and saying, “You know what? Unless somebody creates some kind of world order, we’re all in danger.” I think they appreciate what President Trump has done, whether you’re in Korea, whether you’re in the Middle East, or any other point that is currently threatened and facing deterioration. I think slowly but surely, with the deal with North Korea, with getting out of the bad Iran deal, the world will be a safer place.