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Netanyahu tells Europe to get tougher on Iran after France bomb plot

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, June 10, 2018. Jim Hollander/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Europe on Wednesday to take a harsher stance against Iran after an Iranian diplomat was arrested on suspicion of plotting to attack an Iranian opposition group in France.

An Austria-based Iranian diplomat was held in Germany, one of four people arrested on suspicion of plotting to bomb a meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

“It was no coincidence that this attack was thwarted,” Netanyahu said during a speech in northern Israel.

“I call on the leaders of Europe: stop financing the terrorist regime that is financing terrorism against you on your soil. Enough with the policy of appeasement and weakness regarding Iran.”

Netanyahu said the fact the alleged plot was being hatched while President Hassan Rouhani was in Europe seeking to protect the economic benefits from the nuclear deal that the United States has abandoned was “an example of Iran’s boundless hypocrisy and brazen gall.”

Iran has said it had nothing to do with the plot, which it called a “false flag” operation staged by figures within the NCRI.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch