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Israeli PM to Lobby Trump for Sanctions on Iran in US Visit

Washington – (teleSUR) The prime minister will visit Washington next month and call on President Trump to renew sanctions against Tehran while France tries to save nuclear deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he planned to push U.S. President Donald Trump to renew sanctions against Iran during a visit to Washington next month, while the French government vowed to defend the Iran nuclear accord between six world powers and Tehran.

Netanyahu has been harshly critical of the deal that six world powers including the United States under former President Barack Obama struck with Iran to curb its nuclear program in return for an end to multilateral sanctions.

Iran is Israel’s avowed enemy and Israel argues that the agreement fails to prevent Iranian weapons posing a threat to its very existence.

During the U.S. election campaign, Trump called the pact a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated,” though he has also said it would be hard to overturn an agreement enshrined in a U.N. resolution.

In a statement on his personal Twitter account, around the same time the White House announced his Feb. 15 visit, Netanyahu said: “Iran again launched a ballistic missile. This is a flagrant violation of a Security Council Resolution.”

“In my upcoming meeting with President Trump I intend to bring up the renewal of sanctions against Iran,” Netanyahu said. “Iran’s aggression cannot be left without a response.”

The Obama administration said Iran’s ballistic missile tests had not violated the nuclear agreement, but Trump has said he will stop Tehran’s missile program. Tehran says the missiles it has tested are not specifically designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault arrived in the Iranian capital just as relations between Tehran and the new U.S. leadership were strained by new U.S. immigration orders which he called “dangerous” and said should be revoked.

“I’m coming as the defender of the accord, but to be vigilant and explain that they (the Iranians) must be irreproachable,” Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters after landing in Tehran. “We harbor real concerns about the U.S. administration’s attitude towards this agreement.”

France is counting on the nature of the deal to keep it alive and protect it from Israeli lobbying and Trump’s hostility towards Iran as he packs his administration with known anti-Iran hawks, who have called for military action against Tehran.

Legal experts say the accord is more of a political commitment between all parties involved rather than a treaty ratified by lawmakers in each country. The deal has also been ratified as a U.N. resolution which makes it immune from being invalidated by only one government.

This post originally ran on teleSUR.