FILE PHOTO: Cast member Natalie Portman poses at the premiere for "Annihilation" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo Image Credit: REUTERS

Kuwait’s Arab Times said the Iranian nuclear deal contains major flaws in its current form, and is considered to be the window of salvation for the regime in Tehran to continue with its interference in the affairs of other nations and terrorising the world under the cover of this deal. “We have seen the result of that when Iran benefited from the partial release of its frozen money, which the authorities in Tehran used to fund its military and terrorist plots in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. If since 1979 Tehran had adopted the policies of good neighbourliness with its neighbours, Iran would be among one of the world’s most advanced nations given its capabilities, and perhaps it would be in the league of South Korea. The leaders in Tehran should compare, learn and benefit from the lessons of the two Koreas, or else, the impending review of the nuclear deal will result in all breaking loose from within and abroad.”

Cutting Iran’s influence in the region would yield positive outcomes for many countries, pointed out the London-based pan-Arab paper Asharq Al Awsat. “Lebanon would be the first to benefit if Hezbollah is deprived of its arms. The stability of Lebanon, and the trust of its citizens and foreigners can make it an economic hub. The situation in Syria can only be reformed by getting Qasem Soleimani and his militias out of there and by imposing a regionally and internationally supported political solution. Since Iraq is an oil-rich state, all it needs to function well is for its legislative and executive institutions to work without interferences from Tehran. The Yemeni war would stop in one hour if Iran’s influence on Al Houthi rebels comes to an end.”

Meanwhile, organisers of the Genesis Prize have expressed concern that Natalie Portman’s decision to donate $2 million (Dh7.35 million) Genesis Prize, despite Israeli boycott, will cause their ‘philanthropic initiative to be politicised’, while her position has pushed others to ask whether the Benjamin Netanyahu [Israeli Prime Minister] ‘brand’ has become toxic, wrote Lebanon’s Daily Star. “Her recent decision, which of course attracted international media attention, combined with ongoing activities such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [movement] in the US and other countries, has raised concerns in the Israeli side of a snowballing effect. Yet, the brutality of the Israeli government against unarmed Palestinians protesting peacefully at the Gaza border in recent weeks has been so flagrant that even usually sympathetic Israelis inside and outside the country have started to notice and are attempting to dissociate themselves ...”

The Saudi Gazette said that whatever her reservations, why Portman rebuffed Netanyahu and, by extension, the Israeli government, is moot. “She is warning Israel that its policies, whether on the Palestinians or African migrants, are putting it increasingly at odds with its most natural friends abroad. The Israeli establishment is afraid of losing the affections of Portman and those like her. The speed and ease with which someone like her suddenly became an enemy of the state shows how defensive Israel is and how it is willing to drop one of its heroes should they deviate from the script.”