Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and wife Sara at Ben Gurion International Airport

Prior to his departure for Lisbon on Wednesday at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyanhu told reporters that the Iranian Empire is beginning to “totter” and that world leaders need to follow America’s lead and “increase pressure on Tehran, rather than finding ways to circumvent US sanctions on the regime.

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with the Portuguese Prime Minister in Lisbon. However, he said his main goal is, “first of all, to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.”

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Netanyahu spoke with President Donald Trump on Sunday about Iran. “The continuation of this conversation, with Secretary of State Pompeo, will focus primarily on Iran and on two other issues: The defensive alliance with the US, which I would like to advance, and future American recognition of applying Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley. These are very important issues; we are dealing with them all the time. There are also other issues which I will not detail here,” the prime minister told reporters.

In response to a journalist’s question, he added in English, “I think President Trump has placed tremendous pressures and sanctions on Iran. We’re seeing the Iranian empire totter. We see demonstrations in Tehran, demonstrations in Baghdad, demonstrations in Beirut. It’s important to increase this pressure against Iranian aggression.

“We also see that Iran wants to march forward with nuclear bombs development and ballistic missile development, including precision-guided munition. This has to be countered and the way to counter it is more pressure.

“I spoke out against six European countries that, instead of supporting new American sanctions, lessened American sanctions. That is wrong,” Netanyahu emphasized.

“I said, and I repeat it here today, they should be ashamed of themselves.

“While people are risking their lives and dying on the streets of Tehran, [those European nations] are giving sustenance and support to this tyrannical regime. The tyrants of Tehran should not be supported now. They should be pressured.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.