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  • Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Argentina

    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Argentina's President Macri arrive for a ceremony at the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires | Photo: Reuters

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The trip to Latin America is the first by a sitting Israeli prime minister.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been intensifying his attempts to gain support for his campaign against Iran on the second day of his visit to Argentina.

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Netanyahu targeted Tehran and the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah during a speech in the capital Buenos Aires, repeating a theme he began 24 hours earlier.

Referring to the bombings of the city's Jewish Center in 1994 and the Israeli embassy in 1992, he said, "Iran planned and financed both attacks, certainly. And they continue to do it around the world."

Argentine courts have blamed the first bombing on Iran. But no one has been brought to trial in either that case or for the embassy strike.

Teran denies playing any role in either attack.

Protesters have been gathering for a second day in opposition to Netanyahu's visit. Some accuse him of committing ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people.

A man holds a sign that reads 'Netanyahu terrorist'
Reuters

After talks with the Argentine President Mauricio Macri, the two leaders gave a joint statement to reporters.

Stressing the need for joint security efforts to counter the Islamic State group as well as Iran, Netanyahu said, "The need to fight terrorism is a concern for all, this terrorism attacks everywhere, in all countries of the world."

Macri lent his support "We have an unwavering commitment to the struggle for peace and international terrorism. We condemn terrorism in all its forms, we commit ourselves to work to prevent and combat this type of atrocities."

Netanyahu is due to meet the U.S. President Donald Trump in the coming days. He also reiterated that he wants Washington "to fix or cancel' the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump is reportedly considering a more aggressive strategy toward Tehran that would include reactions to the Iranian military and proxies.

Last month the International Atomic Energy Agency found that Iran was in compliance with the nuclear accord negotiated between Tehran and the United States and international powers. 

In July, the Trump administration certified Iran’s compliance with the deal, but said it was “in default of the spirit” of the agreement.

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Netanyahu moves onto Colombia and Mexico next before to heading to New York where he will address the United Nations General Assembly. He is due to meet Trump on the sidelines of the talks.

The trip to Latin America is the first by a sitting Israeli prime minister.

Benjamin Netanyahu is currently under investigation for several cases related to bribery, fraud, breach of trust, and misuse of funds. He is accused of receiving “lavish” gifts from wealthy supporters, such as luxury goods, and of purchasing positive coverage from newspaper owners.

He is accompanied by his wife, Sara Netanyahu who is also accused of corruption in Israel.

The Attorney General is considering prosecuting her for allegedly using state funds amounting to around US$100,000 for personal luxury dining and other purchases, such as catering for private events, and paying for furniture and home improvements.

Netanyahu and his wife have consistently denied the accusations.

 

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