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NUKEWARS
On first Mideast trip, Macron urges 'firm' stance on Iran
by Staff Writers
Abu Dhabi (AFP) Nov 8, 2017


French President Emmanuel Macron called for vigilance towards Tehran over its ballistic missile programme and regional activities, in an interview published on Wednesday by Emirati daily Al-Ittihad.

"It is important to remain firm with Iran over its regional activities and its ballistic programme," said Macron, in the United Arab Emirates for a 24-hour official visit, his first to the Middle East as head of state.

But he cautioned against creating a "new front" in a region already fraught with conflicts, including the war in Yemen, where UAE forces are taking part in a Saudi-led coalition.

Escalation would "only heighten tensions and further destabilise the region", Macron said.

His visit comes days after Iran-aligned Huthi rebels in Yemen fired a ballistic missile at the Saudi capital, sparking a war of words between the regional heavyweights.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accused Iran of delivering missiles to Yemeni rebels in a "direct military aggression" against the kingdom, while Iran's President Hassan Rouhani countered that Riyadh would achieve nothing by threatening "the might of Iran".

"More than ever, we need a region at peace, with responsible regional actors working for the stability of the Middle East," Macron told Al-Ittihad.

Macron said there was no immediate alternative to the Iranian nuclear deal -- long lambasted by US President Donald Trump -- which curbs Iran's nuclear programme.

On North Korea, he said: "Here is a state where the absence of an international legal framework has allowed it to develop nuclear capabilities.

"We must not repeat that mistake."

NUKEWARS
Iran threat forcing Mideast-Israel alliances: Netanyahu
London (AFP) Nov 3, 2017
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that the threat posed by Iran to its Middle Eastern neighbours was driving them into hitherto unthinkable alliances with the Jewish state. "Iran is devouring one nation after the other," Netanyahu said at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs think-tank in London. "It is doing so either by direct conquest or by u ... read more

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