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Photo: Tal Shahar
Prime Minister Netanyahu
Photo: Tal Shahar
Netanyahu says Iran deploying arms in Syria to threaten Israel
During visit to Cyprus, PM Netanyahu says Tehran 'openly calls, daily, for the elimination of Israel and practices unmitigated aggression against us,' adding its sending weapons to Syria 'for the specific purpose of our destruction'; Iran's army chief: 'no threat frightens Iran.'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran on Tuesday of deploying "very dangerous weapons" in Syria as part of a campaign to threaten Israel.

 

 

Iran, "openly calls, daily, for the destruction, the elimination of Israel from the face of the earth and practices unmitigated aggression against us and against anyone else in the region," Netanyahu told reporters during a visit to Cyprus.

 

"It is now seeking to plant very dangerous weapons in Syria—for the specific purpose of our destruction," he added. 

 

Prime Minister Netanyahu; Iran's Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri  (Photos: Emil Salman, Reuters)
Prime Minister Netanyahu; Iran's Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri (Photos: Emil Salman, Reuters)

 

"It is in the interest of everyone to prevent this Iranian aggression," the prime minister continued. "If they reach the Mediterranean, they wish to establish military naval bases in the Mediterranean for Iranian ships and Iranian submarines. This is a palpable threat against all of us."

 

"I think that everybody recognizes the malign intentions of Iran, and I think everybody also recognizes Israel’s right of self-defense, which is really our common defense," Netanyahu concluded.

 

Netanyahu spoke before an expected announcement by US President Donald Trump on whether he will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal or work with European allies who say it has successfully halted Iran's nuclear ambitions.

 

In Tehran, it was business-as-usual as Iran's Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri asserted that the Islamic Republic's military power would defuse any threat against it.

 

"The armed forces are delivering their best services and no threat frightens Iran," Bagheri was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

 

Iran's Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, meanwhile, said Tehran was "ready for any possible scenario."

 

"If the United States violates the deal, it would be naive to negotiate with this country again," Jahangiri was quoted as saying by news agency Tasnim.

 

Trump has consistently threatened to pull out of the 2015 agreement because it does not address Iran's ballistic missile program or its role in wars in Syria and Yemen, and does not permanently prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

 

US President Donald Trump (Photo: EPA)
US President Donald Trump (Photo: EPA)

 

A senior US official close to the process said France, Germany and Britain had moved significantly to address Trump's concerns over the ballistic missile program, the terms under which international inspectors visit suspect Iranian sites, and "sunset" clauses under which some terms of the deal expire.

 

But it was not clear whether those efforts had made enough progress to persuade Trump to stay in the pact.

 

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that the possible withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal would have harmful consequences.

 

There would be "inevitable harmful consequences to any actions towards breaking these agreements," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

 

Germany and France on Monday vowed to stand by the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers even if the United States pulls out.

 

Volker Kauder, head of Merkel's conservatives in parliament, said continued dialogue was needed to avoid isolating Iran.

 

"That would only further exacerbate the situation in the Middle East," Kauder told reporters in Murnau, where Merkel and other leaders of the coalition government are gathered for a retreat.

 

Andrea Nahles, head of the Social Democrats, junior partner in the coalition, also warned against a US decision to withdraw from the accord. "The situation is more difficult than ever. Things are falling apart at every corner," she said.

 


פרסום ראשון: 05.08.18, 14:55
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