Photo: Kobi Gideon, GPO

Israeli-U.S. cooperation key to countering Iran’s aggression

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while visiting the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. During their pre-meeting remarks to the press,  when a reporter asked the Israeli leader whether he authorized the reported strike that occurred in eastern Syria, he replied “I don’t talk about that.” While the Prime Minister refused to answer questions on Israel’s alleged strike on Iranian targets in eastern Syria; Netanyahu confirmed that the focus of his discussions with Secretary Pompeo will be the Israeli-American joint-effort to confront the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Israeli leader said “First of all, I’m delighted again to see Secretary Pompeo. the first subject that I will raise is Iran. The second subject is Iran. And so is the third, and there are many more . But I think that we have been fortunate that President Trump has led a consistent policy of pressure against Iran. Iran is increasing its aggression, as we see even today in the region. They are trying to have staging rounds against us and the region. From Iran itself, from Iraq, from Syria, from Lebanon, Gaza and Yemen. And we are actively engaged in countering that aggression. And I think that the Israeli-American cooperation is key to that effort, that I think serves the purposes of many countries in the region.

The top American diplomat, for his part, highlighted the Trump Administration’s determination ‘to create stability in the Middle East’ at a time when dozens of anti-Iran protests are taking place in numerous capitals across the region.

Pompeo said “we do have a number of things to talk about. I just flew in from being with the president in London where each of the meetings we had, one of the central topics was how to create Middle East stability in this time where there are anti-Iran protests taking place in Baghdad. Anti-Iranian protests taking place in Beirut. And we all know what’s going on in Iran itself. These are people that are seeking freedom and a reasonable way to live and they recognize the threat that is posed by the kleptocrats that are running the Islamic Republic of Iran. So, we talked to our European partners about that and how we can together ensure that we do everything we can to create opportunity for these people who simply want freedom and a chance to live a normal life. So, I look forward to talking to you about that and a handful of other things today as well.”

Netanyahu proceeded by thanking the American diplomate and adding “You took the words out of my mouth actually, because I think the – Iran’s aggression is growing, but its empire is tottering. And I say let’s make it totter even further.”