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Israel's Netanyahu: Iranian Empire 'Tottering'


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speak during their meeting in Lisbon, Dec. 4, 2019.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describes the Iranian empire as "tottering" and says Israeli is "actively engaged" in countering Iranian aggression.

Netanyahu spoke Wednesday alongside U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while both were in Lisbon for separate talks with Portuguese leaders.

Netanyahu said, "Iran is increasing its aggression as we speak" in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Gaza.

He thanked President Donald Trump for keeping up the pressure on Iran, while Pompeo expressed support for the Iranian protesters.

"These are people that are seeking freedom and a reasonable way to live, and they recognize the threat that's posed by the kleptocrats who are running the Islamic Republic of Iran," Pompeo said.

Neither the prime minister nor Pompeo commented on Netanyahu's proposal for Israel to annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank—a move that would infuriate much of the world and likely would extinguish Palestinian hopes for an independent state in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said a U.S. Navy warship seized what it says is a "significant cache" of Iranian guided missile parts last week from a boat in the Gulf of Oman.

U.S. officials believe the parts were headed for Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The crew was handed over to the Yemeni Coast Guard. It is unclear where they are from.

Iran says it backs the Houthi rebels in Yemen, but has denied sending them arms.

A U.N. resolution bars Iran from selling weapons. A separate resolution prohibits selling weapons to the Houthis.