Pompeo meets Netanyahu, calls for renewal of arms embargo on Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a meeting at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (AP/Sebastian Scheiner, Pool)

“Netanyahu and I had a productive meeting on efforts to counter the Iranian regime’s malign influence,” said Pompeo.

By World Israel News Staff

Arriving in Israel from talks in Ankara on stopping Turkish military strikes against Kurds in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Friday in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In addition to Israeli concerns over the well-being of the Kurdish population, Netanyahu is worried that a U.S. pullout from Syria will mean a further Iranian entrenchment near Israel’s northern border.

“Netanyahu and I had a productive meeting on efforts to counter the Iranian regime’s malign influence as well as regional developments and other issues related to Israel’s security,” the U.S. secretary tweeted after the meeting.

Netanyahu thanked the U.S. administration for its support.

Before his talks with the Israeli premier, Pompeo called on the United Nations to renew the arms embargo on Iran.

“Because of the flawed Iran deal, the U.N. arms embargo on Iran will expire in one year,” said the secretary, referring to the nuclear deal reached between Tehran and six world powers in 2015, from which President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018.

“Countries like Russia and China will be able to sell Iran sophisticated weapons,” Pompeo warned. “The Iranian regime will be free to sell weapons to anyone. This will trigger a new arms race in the Middle East.”

In June, amid hostilities in the region, Iran shot down a U.S. drone which the Revolutionary Guard claimed had entered Iranian airspace. The U.S. military called the downing an “unprovoked attack,” saying that it occurred over international airspace in the Strait of Hormuz.

“If you’re worried about Iran’s behavior now, imagine what Iran will do with advanced missiles, drones, tanks, and jets,” Pompeo tweeted Friday.

In August, Netanyahu said that Israel had foiled a drone attack on the Jewish State from Syria by firing missiles in a pre-emptive strike on Damascus International Airport before the drones could be launched. The prime minister said that the “Iranian Quds force and Shiite militias” were behind the planned attack.

Fighting continued Friday morning in a northeast Syrian border town at the center of the fight between Turkey and Kurdish forces, despite a U.S.-brokered cease-fire that went into effect overnight. However, calm seemed to prevail elsewhere along the border.

The agreement — reached after hours of negotiations in Ankara on Thursday between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence together with Secretary Pompeo— requires the Kurdish fighters to vacate a swath of territory in Syria along the Turkish border.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

David Jablinowitz: