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Netanyahu Slams Europe for Pursuing Trade with Iran

Netanyahu Slams Europe for Pursuing Trade with Iran

Sunday, 1 December, 2019 - 18:30
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, Russia September 12, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday lashed out at European countries for joining a body that would allow some trading with Iran despite US sanctions.

Netanyahu said in a video statement that European countries “should be ashamed of themselves” for seeking to trade with Iran. He said the countries were enabling Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

Last week, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden said they were joining INSTEX, a body designed to facilitate European trade with Iran.

INSTEX was created by Germany, France and Britain to coordinate import and export payments so European companies can do business with Iran despite US pressure, and thereby convince Tehran to stick to a 2015 deal that limits its nuclear efforts.

Iran has given INSTEX a cool reception in part because it doesn’t include vital oil trade.

Tehran has in recent months taken several steps away from the nuclear deal with world powers.

Its moves could push tensions with the US even higher more than a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the agreement and imposed sanctions now crushing Iran's economy.

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