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Israel will do ‘everything’ to stop Iran going nuclear: Netanyahu

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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday his country will do “everything” to prevent arch-rival Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, during a visit by a senior Russian security official.

“Israel will not allow Iran, which calls for our destruction, to entrench on our border; we will do everything to prevent it from attaining nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.

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He was speaking alongside Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Moscow’s powerful security council, whose visit followed weeks of simmering tensions between Tehran and Washington in the Gulf.

Israel has carried out repeated strikes to prevent Iranian forces becoming embedded in neighbouring Syria, where both Iran and Moscow back the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Israeli government has vowed never to let Iran obtain a nuclear weapon, believing Israel would be the target.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely for civilian purposes.

Netanyahu has long campaigned against a 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, from which the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew last year.

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Patrushev did not directly mention the Islamic republic in his comments to the press.

“We pay great attention to Israel’s security,” he said.

“To resolve this issue in practice, it is necessary to bring peace and stability to the region, including on Syrian territory.”

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Their meeting came a day after Netanyahu hosted US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who shares the Israeli premier’s tough stance on Iran.

Bolton is set to meet Patrushev on Tuesday along with their Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat.

Tensions between Washington and Iran have flared after Iranian forces shot down a US drone Thursday, the latest in a series of incidents including attacks on tankers in sensitive Gulf waters that have raised fears of an unintended slide towards conflict.

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Trump has tweeted that Washington would place “major additional sanctions on Iran on Monday”.

Russia on Monday denounced the new sanctions as “illegal”. Its President Vladimir Putin has warned of “disaster” if the US were to use force against Tehran.


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Japan emperor to proclaim enthronement in ritual-bound ceremony

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Japan's new Emperor Naruhito will formally proclaim his ascension to the throne next week in a ritual-bound ceremony, but the after-effects of deadly typhoon will cast a shadow over proceedings.

Naruhito officially assumed his duties as emperor on May 1, a day after his father became the first Japanese monarch to abdicate in 200 years.

But the transition will not be complete until his new role is officially proclaimed on Tuesday, in a series of events expected to be attended by foreign dignitaries from nearly 200 countries.

The event will come just over a week after Typhoon Hagibis slammed into Japan, killing nearly 80 people and leaving a trail of destruction.

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US imposes tariffs on EU goods, targeting Airbus, wine and whisky

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The United States imposed tariffs on a record $7.5-billion worth of European Union goods on Friday, despite threats of retaliation, with Airbus, French wine and Scottish whiskies among the high-profile targets.

The tariffs, which took effect just after midnight in Washington (0401 GMT), came after talks between European officials and US trade representatives failed to win a last-minute reprieve.

The WTO-endorsed onslaught from US President Donald Trump also comes as Washington is mired in a trade war with China and could risk destabilising the global economy further.

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Why key Senate Republicans should be terrified as Trump drags the party down

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Incumbent Republican senators in swing states and blue states find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, criticizing President Donald Trump can result in a burdensome GOP primary battle; on the other hand, being perceived as pro-Trump can be the kiss of death in places where Trump is unpopular. And according to a report by Eli Yokley for Morning Consult’s website, things aren’t getting any better for incumbent GOP senators who are considered vulnerable in the 2020 election.

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