Amid rising tensions between US and Iran, President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed Iran’s “malign” actions, the White House said on Thursday. “The two leaders discussed cooperation between the United States and Israel in advancing shared national security interests, including efforts to prevent Iran’s malign actions in the region,” Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.
Netanyahu confirmed the conversation, tweeting that the leaders had discussed “regional developments and security issues.” “Foremost among them was Iran. I thanked President Trump for his intention to increase sanctions against Iran,” Netanyahu added.
Iran’s President warned that Tehran will increase its enrichment of uranium to “any amount that we want” beginning on Sunday, putting further pressure on European nations to save its faltering nuclear deal and offer a way around intense U.S. sanctions. President Hassan Rouhani’s threat, combined with Iran surpassing the stockpile limits of the 2015 atomic accord, could narrow the estimated one-year window it would need to produce enough material for a nuclear weapon, something Iran denies it wants but the deal sought to prevent.
But as tensions rise a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the deal, it looks unlikely that Europe can offer Iran a way to sell its oil on the global market despite U.S. sanctions.
All this comes the U.S. has rushed an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and F-22 fighters to the region and Iran recently shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone.
“Be careful with the threats, Iran. They can come back to bite you like nobody has been bitten before!” Trump tweeted in response to Rouhani’s warning.
On Wednesday, Iran also marked the anniversary of the U.S. Navy shooting down an Iranian passenger jet in 1988, a mistake that killed 290 people and shows the danger of miscalculation in the current crisis.
“The Trump administration is pushing the center of Iranian politics to the right at the determent of the Iranian people and the entire region,” said Ali Vaez, an Iran analyst for the International Crisis Group. “Rouhani is clearly at the end of his rope and has no choice other than green lighting further escalation.”