Middle East/North Africa

Israeli prime minister’s office deletes tweet mentioning ‘war with Iran’

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office shared and then deleted a tweet Wednesday saying he was meeting with other Arab leaders to discuss “war with Iran.”

The tweet came as Netanyahu spoke to reporters after meeting with Oman’s foreign minister, Yusuf bin Alawi, on the sidelines of the U.S.-backed Mideast conference in Warsaw, Poland. 

“What is important about this meeting, and it is not in secret, because there are many of those – is that this is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran,” the now-deleted tweet said.

The tweet was widely believed to be the result of a mistranslation. The account subsequently shared tweets mentioning “the common interest of combating Iran.”{mosads}

The Israeli embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Netanyahu said in remarks posted to his Facebook page Wednesday that the countries were “talking about how to fight Iran.” While the Hebrew word “to fight” is related to the word for war, it does not necessarily mean going to war.

Before it was taken down, the initial tweet made waves on social media, with many noting that Netanyahu is a hawk on Iran who has said the Islamic Republic is intent on developing a nuclear weapons program to destroy Israel. He applauded President Trump’s decision last year to pull out of an international nuclear pact with Iran. 

The Israel has official diplomatic relations with only Egypt and Jordan, it is known to have more informal ties to other Arab nations. Netanyahu has met with other world leaders at the U.S.-led Middle East summit in Warsaw.

While fueling tensions with Israel, Iran has also angered several Sunni-majority nations in the Middle East over several foreign policies, including its support for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in that country’s years-long civil war.

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