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Netanyahu to Ask Trump to Fight Iran’s Presence in Syria, Iraq | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Buenos Aires, September 12, 2017. (AFP)

Tel Aviv – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged on Tuesday the world to fight terrorism, accusing Iran of being the root of all terror in the world.

He is expected to address this issue with US President Donald Trump when they meet later this month in New York, said Israeli sources.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Beunos Aires alongside Argentine President Mauricio Macri, Netanyahu said there was no doubt that Iran was behind the two major terror attacks that struck Jewish and Israeli sites in Buenos Aires in the early 1990s.

Netanyahu also condemned Iran’s involvement in global terrorism, saying the regime and its proxies continue to operate even in Latin America.

“Iran’s terror has not stopped since then. They have a terror machine that encompasses the entire world, operating terror cells in many continents, including Latin America,” he said.

He added that all modern states must fight terrorism, especially Iran’s terrorist regime, reiterating that Israel will continue to stand in face of Iran’s terror along with its partners in Latin and North America.

“In the case of Iran, there have been some news stories about Israel’s purported position on the nuclear deal with Iran. So let me take this opportunity and clarify: Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal. Either fix it, or cancel it. This is Israel’s position,” added the PM.

Netanyahu said that Israel is also concerned about Iran’s nuclear weapons, adding that it should concern the entire international community.

“We understand the danger of a rogue nation having atomic bombs,” he stressed.

The Israeli sources mentioned that the Israeli PM will ask Trump, during their expected meeting, to change his policy towards Iran, Syria and Iraq. He also wants Washington to amend the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with Iran or cancel it altogether.

The meeting will be held amid reports that Trump will declare Iran as non-compliant with the 2015 nuclear deal.

In related news, Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz urged Netanyahu on Monday to lobby Trump to change or cancel the Iran nuclear deal.

Katz described the deal as Iran’s protection to get nuclear capabilities in the future.

Sources revealed that the White House plans to declare Iran non-compliant, but without dismantling the deal.

A Tel Aviv official stated that a new US strategy is being drafted which could lead to stricter responses against Iranian military troops in Iraq and Syria.

During a speech at a counter-terrorism conference, Katz also said Tehran is establishing itself in Syria with bases and airports that threaten Israel.

He warned: “Iran is the new North Korea. We need to work against it today so that we don’t regret tomorrow what we should have done yesterday.”

He said Trump needs to adhere to the assurances he made regarding Iran and the JCPOA.

“Iran needs to be forced to sign a new agreement, one that will never let it advance to nuclear weapons, as President Trump promised, and which will also include the issues of missiles and Iran’s support of terror,” he concluded.

Katz said Iran is in the process of signing an agreement with Syrian leader Bashar Assad that would allow it to maintain military infrastructure in the country for the long term.

The minister stressed that even though Iran’s nuclear weapons development program is on hold, the country is still actively working to improve its ballistic missile and rocket technology to make them more precise.

He said Israel has to uphold its “red lines” regarding Syria and prevent advanced weapons from reaching Lebanon’s “Hezbollah”.