Israel and Arab countries are in talks “in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said, although the translation from Hebrew was later downgrade to mere “struggle.”
The promise of a major conflict in the Middle East was floated by the Israeli leader during his trip to Warsaw.
“From here I am going to a meeting with 60 foreign ministers and envoys of countries from around the world against Iran,” Netanyahu said as quoted by Jerusalem Post.
“What is important about this meeting – and this meeting is not in secret, because there are many of those – is that this is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”
The Israeli PM is in the Polish capital to take part in a two-day international forum on the Middle East, which starts on Wednesday. Representatives from the United States and the European Union are in attendance in addition to Netanyahu and ministers from Gulf kingdoms. The EU representation at the even however is less than impressive, with heavyweights Germany and France choosing not to send their foreign ministers.
The US delegation is headed by Vice President Mike Pence, who is accompanied by vocal Iran hawk Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and advisor. The Anti-Iranian goals of Israel and the US are apparently dominating the agenda of the forum.
“We’re trying to expand the number of nations who are engaged and have a stake in the future of a peaceful and prosperous Middle East,” Brian Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran, told Reuters.
The EU is on a shaky ground vis-a-vis Iran as it’s member Poland hosts the meeting. The Europeans are attempting to resist the push for confrontation with Iran coming from Washington, hoping to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. The Iranians still stick to the terms of the agreement even after US scrapped it under the Trump administration, but the promise of lucrative business opportunities with the EU, which was a major part of the incentive for Tehran to accept the deal, are nowhere near to materializing under the threat of American sanctions.
“Today, the Iranian people see some European countries as cunning and untrustworthy along with the criminal America. The government of the Islamic Republic must carefully preserve its boundaries with them,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned ahead of the gathering in Warsaw.
Israel and Iran are already engaged in a proxy war in Syria, where Israeli military regularly attack what they call Iranian military targets encroaching on Israel. Building on the foundation of common hostility with Iran, the Jewish state also entered cozy relations with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf supporters over the past decade.
Whether the regular exchange of threats grows into an open shooting war in the Middle East, as Netanyahu seems to be promising, is anyone’s guess.
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