Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for an increase in U.S. pressures against Iran amid international efforts to broker a diplomatic solution to the Iran-U.S. standoff.
Netanyahu said Thursday morning before leaving for London, “This is not the time to conduct talks with Iran — this is the time to increase the pressure on Iran,” before traveling to London to meet his British counterpart and "a top U.S. defense secretary.
The remarks by Netanyahu came one day after U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters that he might hold a meeting with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani "in the near future."
Asked if he would meet Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York later in September, Trump said: "Sure, anything is possible."
Also on Wednesday, Trump thanked French President Emmanuelle Macron for trying to mediate between Tehran and Washington, but said there was no need for mediation as direct contacts between the two sides are possible.
Meanwhile, Iran announced Wednesday evening that it will take further steps to reduce its commitments Under the 2015 nuclear deal.
Netanyahu characterized Iran's new measure as "More defiance by Iran in its striving to attain nuclear weapons."
In recent weeks, Israel has ratcheted up it warnings against Iran and Hezbollah, reiterating that it will not allow Tehran to pose a military threat to Israel. On August 24, Israeli planes attacked Iranian targets in Syria and in an unusual move a military spokesman took credit for the attack.