The threat from Iran and its proxies, and the continued assault on Israel’s legitimacy are great perils we must thwart.
FM Liberman meets with German President Wulff (28 Nov 2010):
FM Liberman said that it is necessary to toughen and increase the sanctions against Iran, provide massive support to student and other free organizations in Tehran, and broadcast messages of freedom to the Iranian people.
We all understand that Iran is brazenly deceiving the West, and the West wants to be deceived. The West is delivering a misguided message of weakness instead of dealing with the threat in the appropriate manner. If the international community cannot stop North Korea, which is a poor country isolated by the world, this sends a bad message to countries like Iran and organizations like the Taliban, which are following events closely. The Iranian leadership employs rhetoric against Israel, but its prime objective is the Gulf States and, after that, Saudi Arabia.
PM Netanyahu responding to questions by journalists after visit to Israel Aerospace Industries (23 November 2010):
"I think it is too early on my part to respond to particular events on the Korean Peninsula. But I think that the events as a whole are clear in one respect: the world is under threat from irresponsible countries that are arming themselves with advanced weapons and since these countries are very aggressive by nature, it is only a question of time until this aggression finds an outlet.
We recognize this phenomenon here in our region, in Iran’s aggressive behavior and its attempts to arm itself, and its threats against us and the entire region. Its cooperation with North Korea, Syria and other countries is not a coincidence. Therefore, the challenge before the international community is in stopping this aggression and stopping it in time."
FM Liberman at press conference with Italian FM Frattini (23 Nov 2010):
Of course the biggest threat not only for the Middle East but also for you is Iran, the Iranian issue, the penetration of radical elements to this region. And we see the security situation and the threats today in Germany, in Europe, in every part of the world…
We belive that North Korea is part of the axis of evil that includes North Korea, Iran and Syria. Because of the close cooperation between these three countries, the proliferation of nuclear technology, the proliferation of missile technology, I think that North Korea is really, as we see, a threat not only to their part of the world but also for the Middle East and the entire world. Also, if the international community cannot stop and cannot suppress this crazy regime and resolve the nuclear problem of North Korea, how can the international community try to deal with the Iranian threat if it cannot stop and restrict even North Korea? I think it’s a bad message, and it’s necessary today more than in the past to stop and topple this crazy regime and to halt their proliferation and their provocations.
PM Netanyahu interview on Fox Business Channel (10 Nov 2010):
NETANYAHU: I think[Iran’s nuclear ambitions] would be a global threat, not merely a threat to the stability of the Middle East, but a global threat because Iran’s reach is far and wide. I mean, look at what they’re doing today. They’re in the Arabian Peninsula with a beachhead in Yemen. They’re in Eritrea. They’re in Sudan, in Africa. They’re obviously in Lebanon and in Gaza, we see them. They’re here in this hemisphere, in South America.
And this is what they’re doing without nuclear weapons. So if they have nuclear weapons, a nuclear umbrella, think of what they could be doing? And the first thing they’ll probably do is make a bid for Middle Eastern oil.
And that’s going to affect the economies of the entire world. So this is not just an Israeli problem. It’s rightly seen more and more, by the United States, by the major European countries, by us, and I can tell you, by many, many Arab governments in our region…
ASMAN: The United Arab Emirates?
NETANYAHU: Many of them. This is the fundamental problem that faces the world today. So I think the answer to that is, it has to be dealt with by the international community, not merely for Israel’s sake but for the sake of the peace and prosperity of the entire world.
CLAMAN: Do you think President Obama is supportive enough when it comes to the Iranian question?
NETANYAHU: We have, I think, an understanding of the danger of the Iranian threat. And I was very pleased to hear that the president has said that he is determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. I think that’s a very important statement.
PM Netanyahu interview on CNBC (9 Nov 2010):
PM Netanyahu: [Possible hostilities with Iran] will affect, I think, the global economy. It’s not merely our problem, it’s the problem of the entire world because you can see what Iran is doing today. It’s got beachheads in Yemen, in the Arabian Peninsula, in Eritrea, in the Sudan. It’s got, of course, its terror proxies Hamas and Hizbullah in Lebanon and in Gaza. It’s sending tentacles here to South America. This is what Iran is doing today without nuclear weapons. Imagine what they would do with such weapons. And you can see how dangerous that is for the entire world, not just for Israel. So I think Iran is a global problem, and I think the solution has to be led by the United States harnessing the international community to make it clear that Iran’s nuclear program would be stopped.
The president led a very important effort in the UN Security Council. He got them to pass a new round of sanctions. And then the administration proceeded to mobilize other like-minded countries to adopt tough sanctions of their own. And I can see that these are having an economic bite on Iran. There is no question about that. Will it be enough to stop the Iranian nuclear program? That remains to be seen. But I think that the combination of tough economic sanctions plus the knowledge that all options are on the table might force the Iranians to think more seriously about stopping their programs. And I think it’s the combination of the two that is required.
PM Netanyahu addresses General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America (8 Nov 2010):
The greatest danger facing Israel and the world is the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. Iran threatens to annihilate Israel. It denies the Holocaust. It sponsors terror. It confronts America in Afghanistan and Iraq. It dominates Lebanon and Gaza. It establishes beachheads in Arabia and in Africa. It even spreads its influence into this hemisphere, into South America.
Now, this is what Iran is doing without nuclear weapons. Imagine what it would do with them. Imagine the devastation that its terror proxies, Hizbullah and Hamas and others, would wreak under an Iranian nuclear umbrella.
This is why Israel appreciates President Obama’s successful efforts to have the UN Security Council adopt new sanctions against Iran. It values American efforts to successfully mobilize other countries to pass tough sanctions of their own. There is no doubt that these sanctions are putting strong economic pressures on the Iranian regime.
But we have yet to see any signs that the tyrants of Tehran are reconsidering their pursuit of nuclear weapons. The only time that Iran suspended its nuclear program was for a brief period in 2003 when the regime believed it faced a credible threat of military action against it. And the simple paradox is this: if the international community, led by the United States, hopes to stop Iran’s nuclear program without resorting to military action, it will have to convince Iran that it is prepared to take such action. Containment will not work against Iran. It won’t work with a brazen regime that accuses America of bombing its own cities on 9/11, openly calls for Israel’s annihilation, and is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism.
When faced with such a regime, the only responsible policy is to prevent it from developing atomic bombs in the first place. The bottom line is this: Iran’s nuclear program must be stopped. Iran’s nuclear program is the greatest danger we face. The assault on Israel’s legitimacy is another.
We know from our history that attacks on the Jews were often preceded by attempts to dehumanize the Jewish people – to paint them as vile criminals, as the scourge of humanity. This is why the attempts by our enemies and their misguided fellow travelers to delegitimize the Jewish state must be countered…
The threat from Iran and its proxies, and the continued assault on Israel’s legitimacy are great perils we must thwart…
The opportunity today to achieve a broader Israeli-Arab peace derives not exclusively but mainly from the perception of a common threat. Today, Arab governments and many throughout the Arab world understand that Iran is a great danger to them as well. This understanding opens up new possibilities for a broader peace that could support our efforts to reach peace with our Palestinian neighbors…
Israel also wants a secure peace. We do not want to vacate more territory only to see Iran walk in and fire thousands of rockets at our cities. That is exactly what happened after we left Lebanon and Gaza.