Netanyahu travel to Europe to push hard line on Iran

Vastavam web: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Europe Monday to push his uncompromising stance on Iran to leaders eager to salvage the nuclear agreement after the United States withdrew.Netanyahu, a fierce opponent of the agreement and the Iranian regime, will meet in turn with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Germany, France and the United Kingdom are three of the signatories of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between world powers and Iran, aimed at keeping Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”I will discuss with them ways to block Iran’s nuclear aspirations and Iran’s expansion in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said on Monday of his European meetings, noting the issues were “crucial to Israel’s security”.

After years lobbying against the 2015 deal, the decision by close ally Trump to ditch the accord has been greeted as a major triumph by Netanyahu.The Israeli leader has brushed aside European insistence that the agreement is the best option to prevent Tehran getting the bomb, claiming that it in fact brought Tehran closer to becoming a nuclear power.

He also argues that a cash influx into Iran following the lifting of international sanctions as part of the accord has fuelled the expansion of Tehran’s military influence in the region, especially in neighbouring Syria.”An Iranian departure from southern Syria alone will not suffice,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

“The long-range missiles that Iran is working to station in Syria will endanger us even beyond the range of several kilometres from southern Syria; therefore, Iran needs to leave Syria altogether.” The Europeans have acknowledged concerns over Iran’s regional role and its ballistic activities, but sought to maintain the JCPOA while creating a separate arrangement on these issues.Contrary to what the US and Israel say, Europe insists the 2015 agreement works and Iran has abided by it.