Netanyahu praises Trump's 'tough stand' against Iran
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday praised President Donald Trump's "tough stand" against Iran after the US leader issued a stark warning to the Islamic republic.
"I would like to praise the tough stand expressed yesterday by President Trump and Secretary of State (Mike) Pompeo against the aggression of the Iranian regime," Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting.
Iran is Israel's main enemy and Netanyahu has long pushed for a tougher stand against it by international powers.
Trump used Twitter on Sunday to send out an all-caps salvo: "NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE."
On Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had warned Trump not to "play with the lion's tail," saying that conflict with Iran would be the "mother of all wars".
Trump's comments came after Pompeo, in a major address to the Iranian diaspora in California, said Washington was not afraid to sanction top-ranking leaders of the "nightmare" Iranian regime.
Netanyahu lobbied hard to have the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers cancelled, and Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement in May.
The prime minister has pledged to keep Iran from entrenching itself militarily in neighbouring Syria, where Tehran is supporting President Bashar al-Assad in his country's civil war.
A series of strikes that have killed Iranians in Syria have been attributed to Israel.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Moscow's military chief of staff will arrive in Israel later Monday for talks on the Syrian conflict.
Russia is also supporting Assad in the war. Netanyahu has held a series of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent months on Syria and Iran.
© 2018 AFP