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Netanyahu Plans To Discuss 'Cruel' Iran With Trump 'Soon'

  • RFE/RL

A file photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) with new U.S. President Donald Trump in September last year.

A file photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) with new U.S. President Donald Trump in September last year.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he plans to meet with newly installed U.S. President Donald Trump soon to discuss what he sees as the dangers from Iran and its "cruel" government.

In a message posted on his Facebook page on January 21, Netanyahu said, "I plan to speak soon with President Trump about how to counter the threat of the Iranian regime which calls for Israel's destruction."

Trump has often assailed the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the United States and other world powers during the Obama administration, calling it "one of the worst deals ever made."

Israel, and Netanyahu in particular, also denounced the deal, which allowed for the lifting of sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on Tehran's nuclear program.

Netanyahu, in his Facebook post, also said he was trying to reach the Iranian people, saying, "We are your friend, not your enemy."

"So I hope this message reaches every Iranian-- young and old, religious and secular, man and woman," he said.

"By calling daily for Israel's destruction, the regime hopes to instill hostility between us," he said.

"This is wrong. We are your friend, not your enemy. We've always distinguished between the Iranian people and the Iranian regime," he added.

He also said that the "regime is cruel -- the people are not; the regime is aggressive -- the people are warm."

Netanyahu regularly criticized the policies of former U.S. President Barrack Obama. A day after the United States abstained from a UN Security Council resolution calling on Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank, the Israeli prime minister called the move a "shameful anti-Israel ambush."

On January 21, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said on his Twitter account that he had sent a letter of congratulations to Trump upon his inauguration, calling him a "longstanding friend," and invited him to Jerusalem.

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