Netanyahu: Europe supporting the tyrants of Iran

PM prepares to meet with US Secretary of State to discuss Israel's annexation of Jordan Valley, Iranian threat, and defense treaty.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 12:23

Binyamin and Sara Netanyahu leave for Lisbon
Binyamin and Sara Netanyahu leave for Lisbon
Kobi Gideon \ GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised President Donald Trump for imposing “tremendous” sanctions on Tehran, while chastised European leaders for joining efforts to help Iran avoid US sanctions.

Speaking with reporters just before departing for Lisbon to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Netanyahu blasted European powers for joining a trade mechanism aimed at circumventing US sanctions on Iran.

“President Trump has placed tremendous pressures and sanctions on Iran,” Netanyahu told reporters.

“We’re seeing the Iranian empire totter. We see demonstrations in Tehran, demonstrations in Baghdad, demonstrations in Beirut, and I think that it is important to increase pressure against Iranian aggression. We also see that Iran wants to march forward with nuclear bomb development and ballistic missile development.”

Netanyahu went on to condemn the addition of six more European nations to the Paris-based Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), a system created by European powers looking to bring Iran back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal by providing a mechanism to avoid US sanctions on Tehran.

Last week, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Sweden announced that they would be joining INSTEX, further weakening US sanctions on Tehran.

“The way to counter this is more pressure. I spoke out against six European countries that, instead of supporting American sanctions, lessened American sanctions. That is wrong,” continued Netanyahu.

“They should be ashamed of themselves,” the Israeli premier said of the six EU states which recently joined INSTEX. “While people are risking their lives and dying in the streets of Tehran, they are giving support to this tyrannical regime. The tyrants of Tehran should not be supported, they should be pressured.”

Netanyahu also told reporters that, aside from Iran, he would also use his upcoming meeting with Pompeo to discuss plans to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the possibility of signing a US-Israel defense treaty.

“I want to advance an American-Israel defense treaty, which I think will add to our national security in a fundamental way, and I also want to discuss the creation of a permanent border, Israel’s permanent eastern security border, in the Jordan Valley.”