Netanyahu to Macron: IDF won't let enemies be armed with deadly weapons
He added that it would be bad timing to hold talks with Tehran, just at the time when Iran was intensifying its regional aggression
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
Israel is determined to prevent its enemies from arming themselves with deadly weapons and will continue to defend itself against any attacks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday.The two men spoke by phone as Israel is in the midst of a campaign to expose increased Iranian efforts to provide the Hezbollah militia with precision-guided missile production facilities.Netanyahu told Macron that Israel would defend itself against aggression against it and would prevent its enemies who seek its destruction form arming themselves with lethal weaponry.“Those who provide shelter for aggression and arming will not be immune and added that the present - when Iran is stepping up its aggression in the region - is precisely the wrong time to talk with Iran,” Netanyahu said.In an interview conducted by his Likud party and posted on Netanyahu's twitter page, the Prime Minister said he was working to ensure Israel's security on all its fronts and against the Iranian threat in neighboring Arab countries.“I am doing everything to preserve Israel security from all the directions,” said Netanyahu. He said this included fighting Hezbollah and Iran in both Lebanon and Syria. He added that this also included activity against Iran in Iraq.“I am leading the fight against Iran in Syria and where ever else is necessary in to stop this bitter enemy who wants to destroy us,” Netanyahu said.AdvertisementLast weekend, Macron hosted the G-7 meeting in France. Among its participants was US President Donald Trump. Macron arranged for Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to pay a surprise visit to the gathering.In a joint press conference with Macron at the G-7, Trump spoke of the possibility of meeting soon with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.According to accounts from the G-7, he did not meet with Zarif. Trump has imposed crippling sanctions on Iran, particularly on its oil exports, in an attempt to force it to negotiate a deal that would eliminate its ability to produce nuclear weapons and deal with the danger of its ballistic missile program.Israel thinks it’s a mistake for the US and Iran to talk at this time.The US was part of a 2015 deal with Iran that included the other five world powers; China, Russia, Great Britain, France and Germany.Last year the US pulled out of that deal which was designed to curb Iran's nuclear capability. The US and Israel felt that the deal was dangerous and left Iran with the capability to produce nuclear weapons.The European Union is looking to preserve the 2015 deal.EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Friday, that the EU would work to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and would welcome any moves to add to its conditions"My role...is to preserve the full implementation of the existing agreements. Again if something else can be built on it, this would be welcomed and accompanied by the European Union," Mogherini told reporters during an EU foreign ministers meeting in Helsinki.New hope of unblocking the political impasse emerged after Iran's foreign minister made a flying visit for talks with host France at the G7 summit in Biarritz last Sunday."If this new momentum is real, this can build on the work that we have been doing for years," Mogherini said, referring to the existing treaty with Iran, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.The 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and international powers aimed to curb Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of many international sanctions on Tehran.Mogherini declined to answer directly when asked if the United States now demanded that Iran to do more than just going back in line with the existing deal's commitments."Our work is to continue to ensure that there is full compliance from the Iranian side to its nuclear commitments," she said.Reuters contributed to this report.
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