The first lesson is to take those who threaten our existence seriously.
President Peres at press conference with Arabic language media in honor of Ramadan (26 July 2011):
Iran is the one that wants missiles. Iran does not want a quiet Middle East. They want to dominate the region through instability and by sending their satellites to influence events – Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Iran arms villages in Lebanon and the streets of Gaza with thousands of missiles, and promotes hopelessness among the Lebanese people and the Palestinians in Gaza."
PM Netanyahu at press conference with Italian PM Berlusconi (14 June 2011):
We talked about Iran’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and we agreed that such weapons in the hands of Iran pose not merely a threat to Israel, but a threat to peace in our region and to the peace of the world.
Now there is today a great battle throughout the Middle East and North Africa between medievalism and modernity; between tyranny and freedom – and it’s not clear how this contest will be decided. Just five or six years ago, there was a great hope in Lebanon for the success of modernity and democracy, and a million Lebanese walked into the streets of Beirut – a million Lebanese – that’s like 20 million Egyptians in Tahrir Square – a huge number, and they all expressed this hope for a new dawn. And now five years later, Lebanon is gripped by the iron hand of this early medieval movement, Hizbullah, at the behest of Iran. So it’s not obvious where the Arab spring will go, but I will say this, that if Iran develops nuclear weapons, the Arab spring could well turn into an Iranian winter. They will tilt the tide everywhere, and I believe that it is in our common interest and in defense of our common values to make sure that this doesn’t happen.
PM Netanyahu addressing joint meeting of US Congress (24 May 2011):
While we hope and work for the best, we must also recognize that powerful forces oppose this future. They oppose modernity. They oppose democracy. They oppose peace.
Foremost among these forces is Iran. The tyranny in Tehran brutalizes its own people. It supports attacks against American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. It subjugates Lebanon and Gaza. It sponsors terror worldwide.
When I last stood here, I spoke of the dire consequences of Iran developing nuclear weapons. Now time is running out, and the hinge of history may soon turn. For the greatest danger facing humanity could soon be upon us: A militant Islamic regime armed with nuclear weapons.
Militant Islam threatens the world. It threatens Islam. I have no doubt that it will ultimately be defeated. It will eventually succumb to the forces of freedom and progress. But like other fanaticisms that were doomed to fail, militant Islam could exact a horrific price from all of us before its inevitable demise.
A nuclear-armed Iran would ignite a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. It would give terrorists a nuclear umbrella. It would make the nightmare of nuclear terrorism a clear and present danger throughout the world. I want you to understand what this means. They could put the bomb anywhere. They could put it on a missile. It could be on a container ship in a port, or in a suitcase on a subway.
Now the threat to my country cannot be overstated. Those who dismiss it are sticking their heads in the sand. Less than seven decades after six million Jews were murdered, Iran’s leaders deny the Holocaust of the Jewish people, while calling for the annihilation of the Jewish state.
Leaders who spew such venom, should be banned from every respectable forum on the planet. But there is something that makes the outrage even greater: The lack of outrage. In much of the international community, the calls for our destruction are met with utter silence. It is even worse because there are many who rush to condemn Israel for defending itself against Iran’s terror proxies.
But not you. Not America. You have acted differently. You’ve condemned the Iranian regime for its genocidal aims. You’ve passed tough sanctions against Iran. History will salute you America.
President Obama has said that the United States is determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. He successfully led the Security Council to adopt sanctions against Iran. You in Congress passed even tougher sanctions. These words and deeds are vitally important.
Yet the Ayatollah regime briefly suspended its nuclear program only once, in 2003, when it feared the possibility of military action. That same year, Muammar Qadaffi gave up his nuclear weapons program, and for the same reason. The more Iran believes that all options are on the table, the less the chance of confrontation. This is why I ask you to continue to send an unequivocal message: That America will never permit Iran to develop nuclear weapons.
President Peres at opening ceremony of Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day (1 May 2011):
"Even today, after the Shoah, there is a regime in the world, whose leadership are Holocaust deniers and inciters. This should shock every person and conscience. The fanatical leadership of Iran is a threat to the entire world – not just a threat to Israel. It threatens every home and every place. It is a real danger to humanity. The nations of the world declared that they will not accept a nuclear Iran. Now they must stand the test of their undertaking."
PM Netanyahu at opening ceremony of Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day (1 May 2011):
"We, the Jewish people, cannot ignore the lessons learned from the Holocaust as they apply to the present day. New oppressors deny the Holocaust as they call for our destruction. Iran and its pawns, Hizbullah and Hamas, call for the annihilation of the Jewish state and openly act to that end.
All civilized people in the world, all those who claim to have learned the lesson from the Holocaust, must unequivocally condemn those who call for the obliteration of the Jewish state. Iran is even arming itself with nuclear weapons to realize that goal, and until now the world has not stopped it. The threat to our existence, to our future, is not theoretical. It cannot be swept under the carpet; it cannot be reduced. It faces us and all humanity and it must be thwarted. So the first lesson is to take those who threaten our existence seriously."