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Netanyahu Says Talks with Tehran Impossible Before Iran 'Totally Transforms'


Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) is welcomed by Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro at the Copacabana fort in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on December 28, 2018.

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has said on Monday that Arab countries viewed Israel as an "indispensable ally" fighting Iran and the Islamic State.

According to the Businesstimes website, Netanyahu has said in an interview with Brazil's Globo TV during a visit to Rio de Janeiro that the Arabs' assessment of Israel as an ally, "has caused a revolution in relations with the Arab world".

Mr. Netanyahu has on various occasions warned against Iran's military presence in Syria and highlighted the danger of Iran having access to nuclear weapons; a concern he shares with several Arab leaders.

Asked if he could ever envisage a day when an Israeli prime minister would hold peace talks with an Iranian leader, Netanyahu said: "If Iran remains committed to our destruction the answer is no." The only way, he said, would be "if Iran undergoes a total transformation."

Netanyahu did not explain further the alliance between his country and the Arab world in the campaign against Iran. However, the media have speculated that his visit to Oman some eight weeks ago, and his upcoming visits to Bahrain and other Persian Gulf littoral states could be part of his move to forge such an alliance.

His reference to an alliance with the Arab world is mainly based on his shared views with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the coordination he has possibly secretly made with them, the media speculate.

Meanwhile, other reports say that Netanyahu has put Yossi Cohen the head of Israel's secret service MOSSAD in charge of prompt expansion of Israel's ties with Saudi Arabia.

In a December 9 report, Iran's Press TV quoted Israel's Hadashot TV as having reported that "Tel Aviv is seeking full diplomatic relations with the Saudi Arabian government and wants to make their ties official within the next few months."
The report added that Netanyahu was seeking to formalize ties with Riyadh before the next Israeli election which was slated for November 2019 but has been moved forward to April.

Israel has intensified its attacks on Iranian targets and those of Tehran's allies in Syria after US President Donald Trump declared that the US was to withdraw its forces from Syria,

Netanyahu has been repeatedly warning that Tehran was following an agenda of Destruction of Israel through furthering a nuclear program and deploying forces to Syria.

Israeli officials have said that their forces have attacked a series of targets in Syria last week to destroy Iranian weapons that have been shipped to Syria recently for the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Air strikes on areas near the Damascus airport have been among the first Israeli actions in Syria after Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. from Syria.

Netanyahu is to hold talks on Tuesday on the Syrian development with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who is also visiting Brazil.

Regional media have said that Netanyahu has convinced Pompeo during a phone conversation that the U.S. should delay withdrawal of its forces from Syria.

Meanwhile, in his interview with Globo TV Netanyahu attributed the stalemate in peace talks with Palestinians to the link between HAMAS and the Islamic Republic.

Only one day before Netanyahu's comments, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhaleh in Tehran, "One day there will be a Palestinian state in Tel Aviv."

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