Trump Set to Discuss Iranian Military Advances in Mideast

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump, to explore ways to thwart Iranian military advances in the Middle East.


Their talks come as Trump is weighing whether to pull the United States out of the 2015 international accord with Tehran aimed at curbing its nuclear weapons development, a deal Netanyahu has long opposed as inadequate. But Trump has been unsuccessful in winning support from the pact’s other signatories, Britain, France, Germany, the European Union, China and Russia, to renegotiate the deal.


Before heading to Washington, Netanyahu said, “I intend to discuss a series of issues” with Trump, “but foremost Iran, its aggression, nuclear ambitions and aggressive actions in the Middle East, including along our very border.”


The growing presence of Iranian forces in Syria supporting President Bashar al-Assad is of particular concern for Netanyahu. He has accused Tehran of seeking a permanent base in Syria.


“We want to know and we must know, what the U.S. position will be if we do enter into some wider confrontation with Iran,” Michael Oren, a deputy Israeli Cabinet minister and former ambassador to Washington, said Sunday on Israeli television.


Netanyahu’s trip to Washington acts as somewhat of a respite from his troubles at home, where he faces a string of corruption investigations. Israeli investigators questioned Netanyahu and his wife Sara for hours Friday in one of the probes, with a former Netanyahu spokesman agreeing to turn state’s witness.


Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing, calling the allegations “fake news,” the same term Trump has often employed in describing the months-long investigations into allegations his campaign colluded with Russia to help him win the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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