Netanyahu tells allies to ramp up pressure on Iran, as Israel PM makes UK visit

Netanyahu tells allies to ramp up pressure on Iran, as Israel PM makes UK visit
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is embarking on a trip to the UK before elections in Israel.
2 min read
05 September, 2019

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday called for increased international pressure on Iran, shortly before he embarked on a visit to London to meet his British counterpart Boris Johnson.

"This morning we were informed of another violation, more defiance, by Iran, this time in its striving to attain nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said.

"This is not the time to hold talks with Iran; this is the time to increase the pressure on Iran."

He slammed Iran's "aggressive actions" as the US stepped up sanctions on Tehran.

Netanyahu's warning came after US President Donald Trump said he could be open to talks with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, during an upcoming UN meeting in New York.

"Anything's possible. They would like to be able to solve their problem," Trump said.

At the same time the US hit Iran with further unilateral sanctions aimed at restricting Tehran's oil exports and issued a reward for anyone giving information that could help cripple the Revolutionary Guards' business empire.

Netanyahu will meet Johnson and US Defence Secretary Mark Esper for talks on Thursday - all three countries at odds with the Tehran.

But the UK and its European allies are also looking for ways to reinvigorate a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which the US withdrew from last year.

Israel has called on the UK, Germany and France to ramp up pressure on Iran calling for more sanctions to prevent Iran from staging "murderous attacks" on Israel.

Israel has launched a wave of attacks on Iran and Hezbollah targets in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon in recent weeks.

Netanyahu is allied with right-wing and far-right political parties in upcoming Israel elections.