TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s resignation and his accompanying statement slamming Iran should be a “wake-up call” to the world to take action against the Islamic Republic.
“The resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hariri and his remarks [on Iran] are a wake-up call to the international community to take action against the Iranian aggression, which is turning Syria into a second Lebanon,” tweeted Netanyahu from London.
“This aggression endangers not only Israel but the entire Middle East. The international community needs to unite and confront this aggression,” he said.
His remarks came just hours after Hariri announced his resignation from Saudi Arabia out of fear that his life was in danger.
Hariri also condemned Tehran for generating turmoil in the Middle East.
“I point very clearly to Iran which spreads destruction and strife wherever it is, and witness to that its interventions in the internal matters of the Arab countries, in Lebanon and Syria and Bahrain and Yemen,” Hariri said.
“Iran has a grip on the fate of the region’s countries. … Hezbollah is Iran’s arm not just in Lebanon but in other Arab countries too,” he said of the Iranian terror proxy. “In recent years, Hezbollah has used the power of its weapons to impose a fait accompli.”
Iran, he added, is “driven by a deep hatred for the Arab nation and strong desire to destroy it and control it, and unfortunately it has found among our fellow countrymen those who put their hands in its hands.”
Iran accused the U.S. and Saudi Arabia of being behind Hariri’s resignation.
Netanyahu on Friday warned that “Iran is devouring one nation after the other.”
“It is doing so either by direct conquest or by using proxy. They took over Lebanon, Yemen … they try to do the same thing with Iraq, in Syria,” he said from London’s Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs think-tank.
“The good news is that the other guys are getting together with Israel as never before. It is something that I would have never expected in my lifetime,” Netanyahu added.
He said the Jewish state was working “very hard” with “the modern Sunni states” to combat Iranian aggression, creating “a great promise of peace.”
As part of Iran’s hegemonic aspirations, it wants to “colonize” Syria economically and militarily and build a land bridge, Netanyahu said.
“They want to leave their army, their airbases and fighter aircraft within seconds of Israel and we are not going to let that happen. We do not say that lightly. We mean what we say and we back it with action.”
“When Hezbollah approached our border, when they tried to extend the terror front they have in Lebanon to Syria, we acted to stop them,” Netanyahu said.
He warned that Iran would not stop at just one nuclear weapon.
“There is a great danger from rogue regimes having nuclear weapons, but the greatest danger to the peace of the world is when a militant Islamic regime meets nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.
“We will not let Iran acquire nuclear weapons or a nuclear weapon. We mean what we say and we back that up with action,” Netanyahu added.