Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an "opportunist" who is likely to succeed in convincing US President Donald Trump during his upcoming visit to take a tougher stance against Iran, Scottish writer and journalist John Wight says.
According to Rapporteur Report From, Press TV, Link, Wight, who has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including The Independent, The Huffington Post, Foreign Policy Journal and Counterpunch, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Monday.
Netanyahu will arrive in Washington, DC, on Wednesday with a stated aim of urging the United States to put more pressure on Iran.
Earlier this month, Netanyahu told his cabinet that forming a united front against Iran was one of the main topics that he was going to raise with Trump during his visit.
‘Iran is to be the bête noire of US’
When asked if Netanyahu would succeed in achieving his goal, Wight said, “I think he may well succeed in achieving this objective, given that Donald Trump has made clear that Iran is to be the bête noire of the United States during his presidency.”
“He has already poured scorn on the P5+1 deal with regards to Iran’s nuclear program. And he has talked about the possibility of scuppering that deal even though it is an international deal, rather than a bilateral agreement between Washington and Tehran,” he stated.
‘Flynn is an open Islamophobe’
“But most importantly, Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is an open Islamophobe,” Wight said.
“In this regard, Mr. Flynn seems to carry a particular hatred of Iran. He has talked in the past of the need for 'regime change’ in Iran, and he has described Islam as ‘a malignant cancer.’ That’s a direct quote. He has also described it as a 'sick religion' that requires healing,” the journalist noted.
“The fact that there is a world of difference, for example, between the Salafism and Wahhabism propagated by Saudi Arabia and embraced by ISIS [Daesh], and the interpretation of Islam practiced in Iran and throughout the Muslim world by both the Sunni and Shia alike - confirms that for such people bigotry and foreign policy are two sides of the same coin,” he explained.
‘US hypocrisy on travel ban’
“It also implies hypocrisy when we consider that the likes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait have not been included in the list of predominately Muslim states on Trump's travel ban; this is despite the indisputable part they have played in fomenting terrorism, religious sectarianism and extremism across the Middle East and beyond in recent years,” Wight said.
“So we see here a heavy dose of opportunism. And of course Benjamin Netanyahu needs no introduction when it comes to opportunism either,” he continued.
‘Netanyahu exploiting the absence of Obama’
The analyst said that Netanyahu “is clearly intent on exploiting the fact that Obama is no longer in the White House to curry favor with Trump, and to try and intensify the demonization of Iran with regards to its nuclear program, with regard to its supposed threat to Israel and the United States.”
“What the Israeli Prime Minister describes as a threat is in truth resistance to Israel’s expansionist aims and ongoing oppression of the Palestinians,” Wight said in his concluding remarks.