President Trump said on Monday that shared concern about Iran was driving Israel and many Arab states closer and demanded that Tehran immediately cease military and financial backing of “terrorists and militias.”
In stressing threats from Iran, Trump echoed a theme laid out during weekend meetings in Saudi Arabia about the Islamic Republic’s growing regional influence and financial muscle.
Trump has also vowed to do whatever is necessary to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians but has given little indication of how he could revive negotiations.
He focused firmly on Iran in talks with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem.
“What’s happened with Iran has brought many of the parts of the Middle East toward Israel,” Trump said in public remarks at a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
Trump spoke of forging a regional coalition to counter what he described as Shi’ite Muslim Iran’s involvement in conflicts in the region, rather than renewed efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
“No matter where we go, we see the signs of Iran,” Trump said in comments to Netanyahu.
Israel shares the antipathy many Arab states have towards Iran, seeing the Islamic Republic as a threat to its existence.