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Netanyahu accuses Europe of 'appeasing' Iran

© POOL/AFP | Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on September 12, 2018

JERUSALEM (AFP) - 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday accused European leaders of "appeasing" Iran instead of confronting its militant activity.

Netanyahu's remarks, made in a cabinet meeting, feed into his ongoing efforts to sway world leaders to join the United States in upping pressure on Israel's arch foe through sanctions.

"The time has come for the world to unite in the fight against terrorist organisations. It is doing so to a certain extent against the Islamic State group, but it is not doing so against Iran," Netanyahu said.

He accused European leaders of "appeasing" and "reconciling" with Iran.

In May, US President Donald Trump withdrew from a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, before re-imposing a first major round of unilateral sanctions on Tehran in August.

Netanyahu had consistently called for the landmark 2015 accord to be altered or scrapped, saying it was too limited in scope and time-frame, and did nothing to stop Iran financing militant activities in the region.

European powers are seeking to save the nuclear deal and have vowed to keep providing Iran with the economic benefits it received from the accord.

Germany, France and Britain -- and other signatories Russia and China -- argue that the agreement has worked as intended in keeping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons for now.

"The appeasement of Iran abets the relentless assault on the values and security of the free societies, and the time has come for Western governments to join the strong and clear effort by the Trump administration against the terror regime in Tehran," Netanyahu said on Wednesday.

Washington has sought to build up multilateral pressure on Iran and has set a November 5 deadline for halting its oil exports.

© 2018 AFP