By Kamila Aliyeva
U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a long telephone conversation about strategic threats posed by Iran on March 6, according to the Prime Minister’s office.
“The two leaders spoke at length about the dangers arising from the nuclear deal with Iran and Iranian aggression in the [Middle East] region and the need to work together to deal with those dangers,” the statement said.
The two sides discussed the recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents across the U.S., including bomb threats and cemetery vandalism as well. Netanyahu expressed his appreciation for Trump's strong condemnation of anti-Semitism during his speech last week to Congress, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu also plans to visit Moscow soon to discuss the current situation in the Middle East, particularly in light of joint efforts to combat international terrorism and Iran's growing influence in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Israel is deeply concerned over whether Syria's civil war will result in its arch-foe Iran having increased its power in the neighboring country.
The negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue began in 2004, as Western nations were accusing Tehran of developing a "secret military nuclear program. Since 2006, negotiations with Iran were led by the "six" of international mediators (the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany).
The Iran nuclear deal was reached in July 2015 and went into effect the next year. Under its terms Iran agreed to dismantle part of its nuclear program, surrender enriched fuel and submit to international inspection.
Netanyahu has been a vocal opponent of the nuclear deal signed between Iran and major world powers. The Israeli leader has said the deal does not go far enough and when some of the clauses of the deal expire in 10 and 15 years, it will leave Tehran on the threshold of building a bomb.
Donald Trump has similar views on the issue as he has repeatedly criticized the deal calling it “the worst deal ever negotiated”.
During the latest meeting with Netanyahu on February 15, the U.S. President once again claimed that the nuclear agreement is “one of the worst deals” he had ever seen. The visit of the Israeli prime minister to the U.S. took place due to the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. At the meeting, Trump noted that his administration had already imposed new sanctions on Iran, and he would do more to prevent Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapon.
In February 2017, Washington imposed sanctions on a number of entities supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program and warned the Islamic Republic it had been “put on notice” and that it was “playing with fire.”
In December 2016, the White House prolonged the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) by the United States that passed in 1996 and was set to expire on December 31, 2016.