The recent Iranian admission of a uranium enrichment plant outside Qom leaves no doubt: the Iranian nuclear program is an international crisis.
PM Netanyahu at press conference with US Secretary Clinton (31 Oct 2009):
On Iran, I want to express our appreciation for the very clear stance adopted by President Obama that is united, as Secretary Clinton has just said, in international consensus that Iran must cease its efforts to become a nuclear military power. I think the fact that there has been unity that has not been seen for a long time on this position is something very valuable, very important and I think it’s important not only for Israel – I think it’s important for the Middle East, for our region and for the peace of the world so I want to commend the efforts of you and President Obama and the Western and other leaders have taken here on this issue that I think is central to the future of the world, to the future of peace.
From Washington Post interview with President Peres (25 Oct 2009):
How do you feel about the Iran situation? Many say that Iran is close to getting a nuclear weapon.
I don’t think we have now to enumerate all the options. The present situation is that the danger of Iran is recognized as a world danger, and not just as an Israeli danger. So we shouldn’t monopolize it and make it again an Israeli danger. President Obama says he wants to handle the situation in a certain way. If he will fail, he will look for another way. Let the president try his hand.
What do you think of the Geneva talks, with the proposal that Iran would send most of its low-enriched uranium out of the country?
I’m a little bit worried because the policy should be of prevention, not just of inspection — to prevent the building of a bomb. Because later on to inspect the procedure of enriching uranium is very, very difficult, particularly when the Iranians are extremely economical about telling the truth.
Do you think the Iranians agreed to the Obama suggestion in order to buy time for the regime — to legitimize it?
My impression is that they try to maneuver rather than to agree. To create an impression of an agreement without agreeing. But, you know, I don’t think our people or the Americans are foolish.
Do you think it is a realistic dream to separate Syria from Iran?
It’s their decision. They cannot have both. They cannot make peace with the country that calls to destroy us and make peace with us. They have to make up their minds. Look, governing is choosing.
From Washington Post interview with PM Netanyahu (24 Oct 2009):
Someone told me this week that you believe it is your duty as prime minister to prevent a second holocaust of the Jewish people.
This has been the sentiment of all the prime ministers of Israel.
But do you feel it particularly in light of the Iranian nuclear threat?
I think right now the issue is not merely the security of Israel but of the world. Free and open societies are menaced by a dark radicalism that is seeking to arm itself and its proxies with nuclear weapons.
You’re speaking of Iran?
Yes. We’re definitely the first country threatened but definitely not the last.
Your Arab neighbors say that they are very concerned, too.
There is not, perhaps with one exception [and] I’m not even sure about that one, a single Arab country that is not concerned by the possibility of a nuclear Iran. And of course, many of the great powers in Europe understand the danger. This would be a pivot of history if it happened.
Is there a lot of time for you to deal with this issue?
It’s not we [Israel], it’s we the international community. I’ve spoken about it to President Obama, and he assured me that the goal of the United States is to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Reportedly, Israel might be preparing for a strike against Iran.
I’m not responsible for rumors. Our belief is that this is a global problem. Since it’s the problem of the international community, the international effort led by the United States is the way to stop this danger.
Excrepts from interview with President Peres (The Telegraph , London 17 Oct 2009):
"Iran is a problem for the world and I don’t think Israel has to monopolize it. Iran today is really a world problem, maybe the number one problem of the world. And I don’t think we have to jump ahead and claim to be the leader on that issue. And it’s not that others are (not) dealing with it. The United States is dealing with it. Europe is dealing with it. Everyone is dealing with it. And even the Russians who are maybe not ready to participate in sanctions, but Medvedev and Putin told me they cannot live with an Iranian bomb. I mean, we couldn’t take the globe on our shoulders and we shouldn’t. Israel is a small country (but) judging (by) our problems we are a super power."
ON IRANIAN CALLS FOR ISRAEL TO BE WIPED OFF THE MAP
"It’s a shame for the world. It’s a shame. If a member of the United Nations calls for the destruction of another member of the United Nations and the United Nations doesn’t say anything about it, it shows that there is one sidedness in their approach vis a vis Israel. It again shows that we do not have a majority even for justice. Would they say something like this against Holland or against England? The whole world would stand on its legs. Why don’t they do the simple thing and tell Iran, Gentlemen, either you be a member of the United Nations and respect its charter or to stop your denial of the Holocaust and your threatening with another destruction. That’s basic."
ON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY’S RESPONSE TO IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM
"What does the international community want to achieve? To inspect or to prevent? Right now they have neither. Neither inspection nor prevention and I think the Iranians are cynical.
Basically the present Iranian government is extremely economic about the truth. They don’t misuse this economy. You can’t trust a word they are saying so without inspections and without prevention it is a theoretic engagement, a theoretic confrontation…
We don’t want to see blood. If there are other means, by God they are preferable. My opinion is that the world has to let President Obama to find a solution by way of sanctions and diplomacy."
Statement by Amb Shalev to the UN Security Council (14 Oct 2009):
Behind Hizbullah’s defiance and build-up stands Iran. Iran’s sponsorship and support of terrorism pushes the region towards instability and conflict.
As Iran hurtles towards nuclear weapons capabilities coupled with long-range missiles, its leaders refuse to truthfully answer the inquiries and demands of the international community. The recent Iranian admission of a uranium enrichment plant outside Qom leaves no doubt: the Iranian nuclear program is an international crisis.
This country – Iran – is driven by religious extremism, officially sponsors Holocaust denial, and violently suppresses the democratic aspirations of its citizens, while continuing to promote international terrorism. The world’s most dangerous weapons are quickly falling into the hands of the most dangerous regime in the world.
This is the real threat to peace and security in our region and in the world.
FM Liberman meets with Austrian FM Spindelegger in Vienna (14 Oct 2009):
FM Liberman raised the issue of involvement of Austrian companies in trade with Iran. FM Liberman stated that the willingness of the international community to continue with the diplomatic process must be limited in time. From experience, it is clear that the Iranians intend to talk and to gain time without any intent of reaching a real solution, and this scenario must not be allowed to materialize.
Policy statement by PM Netanyahu at opening of Knesset winter session (12 Oct 2009):
Our top priority will remain security and addressing threats to the State of Israel – the most serious of which is Iran’s attempts to arm itself with nuclear weapons.
Indeed, the true face of Iranian despotism has been exposed during the past few months: This is a regime that oppresses its people, threatens its neighbors, conducts acts of terrorism, calls for the destruction of Israel and constructs concealed plants to manufacture nuclear weapons. President Obama and the US Government recently reiterated their commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining such weapons.
At our last meeting in New York, President Obama told me that an Iran equipped with a nuclear weapon would pose a danger to the entire world, not just to Israel. All responsible members of the international community must come together and make clear to the Iranian regime that they will not accept its program to develop weapons of mass destruction.