Netanyahu at AIPAC: Arab states would support US withdrawal from Iran deal

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Netanyahu at AIPAC: Arab states would support US withdrawal from Iran deal

Prime Minister uses pro-Israel policy event to claim many Middle Eastern states see Iran as the biggest threat to the region

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Sunni Muslim states in the Middle East would support the US if it were to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

Addressing 18,000 people in a Washington, D.C venue at the annual AIPAC policy conference, the Israeli leader said Egypt, Jordan and “many other Arab countries in the Middle East” see Iran as their biggest threat.

Netanyahu said US President Donald Trump “will walk away from the deal and restore sanctions” if changes are not made, adding: “Israel will be right there at American side, and so will other countries in the region.”

He said: “Most of the states in our region know very well that Israel is not their enemy, but their indispensable ally in confronting our common challenges and seizing our common opportunities.”

In a speech bordering on the theatrical, Netanyahu seemed a thousand miles away from his problems at home, where Israeli police last month recommended that he be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. He denies wrongdoing.

Returning to Iran, he said: “Darkness is descending on our region. Iran is building an aggressive empire – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen, more to come.”

He added that Iran was “seeking to build permanent military bases in Syria, seeking to create a land bridge from Tartus, the Mediterranean, and in addition to moving its arming its air force, its navy, to Syria, to be able to attack Israel from a closer hand.”

In addition, Netanyahu alleged that Iran was “also seeking to develop, to build, precision guided missile factories in Syria, Lebanon, against Israel”.

The Tuesday oration included stated support for proposed US legislation that would, if passed, end American aid to the Palestinian Authority until the Ramallah-based organisation ends its payment of salaries to terrorists and their families.

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