JERUSALEM, Israel – US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Sunday night about “the threat from Iran” and other critical issues, the White House said in a statement.
The call came after Netanyahu put six European counties on notice in a strongly worded public statement for trying to bypass US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. He blamed the countries for backing Iran while the regime continues to kill civilians protesting in the streets.
“While the Iranian regime is killing its own people, European countries rush to support that very murderous regime. While Iran bombs Saudi Arabia's oil installations, while Iran rushes to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, European countries rush to appease Iran with even more concessions,” Netanyahu said.
Iranians began protesting rising prices and corruption on November 15 and many are calling for Iranian leaders to step down. The regime has killed at least 180 protestors and cut the internet in the country to stop news, pictures, and videos of the deadly protests from reaching the rest of the world.
“These European countries should be ashamed of themselves. Have they learned nothing from history? Well, apparently not,” the prime minister continued. “They are enabling a fanatic terrorist state to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, thereby bringing disaster to themselves and upon everyone else.”
Six European countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, announced their intention to join INSTEX last Friday. INSTEX was created in January 2019 by France, Britain, and Germany as a barter system to evade heavy US sanctions against Iran by not trading in US dollars.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden could not have picked worse timing. The hundreds of innocent Iranians murdered during the latest round of protests are rolling in their graves.”
The US pulled out the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal in May 2018 and has maintained a “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign against the regime. INSTEX allows Iran to continue selling oil and importing other products, but member states say they are still committed to holding Iran accountable to the terms of the nuclear agreement with or without the US’s involvement.
Iran wants Europe to bolster the INSTEX agreement in defiance of US sanctions. Meanwhile, the regime continues to violate the 2015 nuclear agreement by enriching uranium beyond the limits set by the deal.
Netanyahu has been sounding the alarm about Iran’s nuclear intentions for years and he will confront European leaders about Iran in London this week during the NATO summit on Dec. 3-4.
Israel is not a NATO member and Netanyahu was not invited to the summit, but he will hold sideline meetings with world leaders during the conference.
Israel’s Channel 13 reported Sunday that Netanyahu will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and others.
Trump will be in London attended the NATO summit but it is unclear if he will meet with Netanyahu.
In the meantime, Netanyahu sends a clear warning to Europe: “To those who favor appeasement of Iran, I say this: history and your own people will judge you harshly. Change course now.”