Trump, Netanyahu discuss Iran’s ‘malign actions’ on call

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Thursday held a telephonic conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the current developments concerning Iran.

The leaders discussed bilateral cooperation in “advancing shared national security interests, including efforts to prevent Iran’s malign actions in the region,” Xinhua quoted a statement from the White House as saying.

Netanyahu also tweeted about the telephonic conversation with Trump.

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“I spoke with US President Donald Trump. We discussed regional developments and security issues. Foremost among them was Iran. I thanked President Trump for his intention to increase sanctions against Iran,” he tweeted.

The phone call between the two leaders comes amid strained ties between Iran and the US after the latter pulled out from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) last year, accusing Tehran of supporting state-sponsored terrorism and conflicts.

On Wednesday, Trump had accused Iran of “secretly” enriching uranium for a long time, warning that more sanctions would be imposed “substantially” on Tehran soon.

On the same day, an emergency meeting was convened by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the behest of the US, to discuss the current status of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The pact was signed by five countries — the US, the UK, Russia, China and Germany, and the European Union — with an aim to limit Iran’s civilian energy programme, thereby preventing it from developing nuclear weapons at some point in the future, in exchange for relief from sanctions that were crippling the country’s economy.

While Iran is yet to withdraw fully from the agreement, it recently announced its decision to increase nuclear enrichment in response to the new US sanctions.

On Monday, the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran announced that the country has officially surpassed the 3.67 per cent uranium enrichment limit set under the historic 2015 nuclear deal and could consider increasing the stockpile to 20 per cent in the future.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday said that the Trump administration is “not done” with Iran and will continue its pressure campaign against Tehran.


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