FULL: Netanyahu and Bolton Address Mideast Security Issues

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Shared June 25, 2019

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The U.S., Russian and Israeli national security advisors made opening statements ahead of meetings on how to cooperate on security issues to keep quiet between Syria and Israel, including how to address Iran's regional influence.

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US National Security Adviser John Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took aim at Iran in remarks delivered on the final day of a tripartite security summit between the US, Israel, and Russia on Tuesday, accusing it of sowing discord across the Middle East.

Bolton, who has led a hawkish line on Iran amid skyrocketing tensions between Washington and Tehran, called Iranian provocations across the Middle East a manifestation of the Islamic Republic's "continued pursuit of deliverable nuclear weapons".

"All around the Middle East we see Iran as the source of belligerence and aggression," Bolton said, citing the involvement of Iranian-backed proxy groups in conflicts throughout the region.

"Iran's provocations, which also include threats to and attacks on American personnel and assets in the Middle East are the external manifestations of the central threat that Iran poses, namely its continued pursuit of deliverable nuclear weapons," he said.

Netanyahu similarly took aim at Iran, focusing on what he has long said is the Islamic Republic's attempts to entrench itself militarily in neighboring Syria and open a new front on Israel.

"Israel has acted hundreds of times to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria while it actively and openly calls and works for our destruction...Israel will continue to prevent Iran from using neighboring territory as platforms to attack us and Israel will respond forcefully to any such attacks," Netanyahu said.

He added that Israel, Russia and the US share the common objective of ejecting foreign forces from Syria in the interest of the country's peace and security.