Netanyahu heads to Europe to lobby against Iran nuclear deal

By Sommer Brokaw  |  June 4, 2018 at 12:05 PM
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June 4 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu started a three-day trip to Europe Monday to lobby against the Iran nuclear deal.

The Israeli leader is heading an effort to persuade Germany, France and Britain to join the United States in leaving the 2015 agreement and dislodge Tehran's military from Syria.

"I will meet there with three leaders and will discuss two subjects: Iran and Iran," Netanyahu said in Berlin earlier.

Netanyahu was set to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris Tuesday and British Prime Minister Theresa May in London Wednesday.

Netanyahu has long lobbied against Iran, calling it a "terrorist regime." The Obama-era deal lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear program. Trump called it "defective at its core."

Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday the United States' "illegal withdrawal" and "bullying methods to bring other governments in line" have discredited the rule of law in the international arena.

France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China have remained as parties to the deal.

Though Netanyahu plans to focus on Iran, he might face questions about Israeli's use of live fire against Palestinian protesters in Gaza. More than 120 Palestinians have been killed since March in protests near the Israeli-Gaza border. Israeli officials say they have a right to defend the border.

The protests demanded Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to what is now Israel.

A funeral was held over the weekend for a medic killed while aiding a protester.

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