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Netanyahu tells Macron ‘wrong time’ for talks with Iran

PARIS: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday to avoid any rapprochement with Iran, amid European efforts to rescue the embattled 2015 nuclear deal, his office said.

“It is precisely the wrong time to talk with Iran”, Netanyahu told Macron in a phone call initiated by the French leader, according to a statement from the Israeli premier’s office.

Macron has spearheaded attempts to overcome a standoff between US President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart President Hassan Rouhani.

The French president announced with Trump at the G7 summit in Biarritz on Monday that a face-to-face meeting between the adversaries could take place within weeks.

Tensions have soared between Tehran and Washington since the US last year unilaterally pulled out of the landmark nuclear accord between Iran and world powers and reimposed biting sanctions.

Netanyahu said in his call with Macron that Iran was stepping up its aggression in the region, his office said.

In an apparent reference to Lebanon, Netanyahu emphasized in his call with Macron that “those who provide shelter for aggression and arming” Iran will not be spared, according to his office.