Netanyahu and Trump to Discuss Peace, Iran; Tehran Wants Syria to ‘Drive Out’ US

U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United States President Donald Trump meet on Monday, the security of the entire world will be the topic—or at least, two key factors in that security. Netanyahu—in comments released by his office before leaving for the US on Saturday evening—said that some of the issues the leaders would discuss would be Iran’s nuclear program and regional aggressions and “advancing the peace process” with the Palestinians.

“Advancing these issues is important for Israel and for the security of the entire world,” said the Israeli leader, who noted the conversation would come ahead of Trump’s imposed deadline for fixing the Iranian nuclear deal later this spring.

While Iranian aggressions have been a growing concern for the Middle East—including a recent drone incursion by Iranian forces from Syria into Israel—the US isn’t too far away to be threatened by the Iranians as well. On Sunday, a military official in the circle of Iran’s Supreme Leader called for Syria to push out US troops from the Middle Eastern country.

“We hope that the Syrian government, army and popular forces will drive the Americans out of [the] Eastern Euphrates [region] and protect their territorial integrity,” Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi was quoted by the Fars News Agency as saying. General Safavi was identified in the report as a “top military aid” to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

The US and Iran are among a collection of countries that are involved militarily in Syria. The US is battling ISIS as part of an international coalition while Iran is fighting rebels opposing the Syrian regime, as well as terrorists.

However, Iran hasn’t limited their international interference to their allies in Syria. They are accused of backing rebels in Yemen that have attacked Saudi Arabia, supporting terrorists in Lebanon and arming Palestinian terrorists that target Israel, among other threats.

Netanyahu also highlighted the regional concerns regarding Iran in his comments about his meeting with Trump in a separate press release on Sunday. “I intend to discuss with him a series of issues but first Iran—its aggression, its nuclear aspirations, and its aggressive actions in the Middle East in general and on our borders, all of them, in particular,” said Netanyahu.

“I think that the need to rebuff this aggression is a common goal for us and for nearby countries in the region, but first of all it is ours, that of all Israelis.”

The Haaretz newspaper reported that Netanyahu is expected to meet with Trump on Monday and then address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference on Tuesday. He is also expected meet with other US officials during the trip.

Not all of the topics on the agenda with Trump will be serious and heavy. Netanyahu said that when he meets with his “personal friend” President Trump, “First of all, I will thank him for the historic decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem on [Israel’s] Independence Day. This is a very big present for our country.

…I am going there on behalf of all citizens of Israel, as I understand it, to achieve three goals: Security, peace and economic prosperity for all citizens of Israel, for our country.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, March 4, 2018)

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