Netanyahu says new Israel elections would be ‘irresponsible’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will do whatever is needed to protect the country, regardless of his coalition partners’ decision. (Reuters)
Updated 19 November 2018
0

Netanyahu says new Israel elections would be ‘irresponsible’

  • Netanyahu issued the message on Monday moments before education minister is to announce where stay or leave coalition
  • Netanyahu says he will do whatever is needed to protect the country

JERUSALEM: Israel’s prime minister says it would be “irresponsible” to dissolve the government and call early elections.
Benjamin Netanyahu issued the message on Monday, moments before his education minister, Naftali Bennett, was to announce whether he’s pulling his Jewish Home Party out of the coalition.
If Bennett leaves, it would cause the government to collapse and trigger new elections.
Bennett has threatened to withdraw from the coalition to protest a cease-fire reached by Netanyahu last week with Hamas militants. Netanyahu’s defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, resigned in protest.
Bennett had demanded the defense portfolio as a condition for remaining in the government. But late Sunday, Netanyahu said he would take the job himself.
Netanyahu says he will do whatever is needed to protect the country, regardless of his coalition partners’ decision.


Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between US and Iran

Updated 27 May 2019
0

Iraq offers to mediate in crisis between US and Iran

  • ‘We are trying to help and to be mediators’
  • The crisis takes root in President Donald Trump’s withdrawal last year of the US from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers

BAGHDAD: Iraq offered to mediate in the crisis between its two key allies, the United States and Iran, amid escalating Middle East tensions and as Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers steadily unravels.
Iraqi foreign minister, Mohammed Al-Hakim, made the offer Sunday during a joint news conference in Baghdad with visiting Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“We are trying to help and to be mediators,” said Al-Hakim, adding that Baghdad “will work to reach a satisfactory solution” while stressing that Iraq stands against unilateral steps taken by Washington.
In recent weeks, tensions between Washington and Tehran soared over America deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Arabian Gulf over a still-unexplained threat it perceives from Tehran.
The crisis takes root in President Donald Trump’s withdrawal last year of the US from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that capped Iran’s uranium enrichment activities in return to lifting sanctions. Washington subsequently re-imposed sanctions on Iran, sending its economy into freefall.
Trump has argued that the deal failed to sufficiently curb Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons or halt its support for militias throughout the Middle East that the US says destabilize the region, as well as address the issue of Tehran’s missiles, which can reach both US regional bases and Israel.
Zarif, who was been on a whirlwind diplomatic offensive to preserve the rest of the accord, insisted that Iran “did not violate the nuclear deal” and urged European nations to exert efforts to preserve the deal following the US pullout.
Speaking about the rising tensions with the US, Zarif said Iran will be able to “face the war, whether it is economic or military through steadfastness and its forces.” He also urged for a non-aggression agreement between Iran and Arab countries in the Gulf.
The mediation offer by Al-Hakim, Iraq’s foreign minister, echoed one made Saturday by Mohamad Al-Halbousi, the Iraqi parliament speaker. Al-Hakim also expressed concern for Iran’s spiraling economy.
“The sanctions against sisterly Iran are ineffective and we stand by its side,” Al-Hakim said.