TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Tuesday that Iran will not spread its military influence in Syria as a means to attack Israel, despite Russia’s earlier statement that the Iranian presence in the war-torn country is “legitimate.”
“Iran is scheming to entrench itself militarily in Syria. They want to create a permanent air, land and sea military presence, with the declared intent of using Syria as a base from which to destroy Israel. We are not going to agree to that. I have said very clearly that Israel will work to stop this,” Netanyahu told the Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly via video broadcast in Los Angeles.
“We must all work together to stop Iran’s aggression and its pursuit of nuclear weapons. If we stand together we will achieve it. But if we have to we’ll stand alone. Iran will not get nuclear weapons. It will not turn Syria into a military base against Israel,” the premier asserted.
Netanyahu reiterated his concerns over the Iran nuclear deal.
“We must ensure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon. That is the bottom line and the most important. The Iran nuclear deal does not achieve that. On the contrary, after about a decade, it will leave Iran able to produce hundreds of nuclear weapons in a very short time, because the deal rescinds all the limitations on Iran’s enrichment capacity. They can have hundreds of thousands of centrifuges and they plan to.”
“You have to correct it [the Iran deal], either by fixing it or nixing it,” Netanyahu added, using the expression he used at the UN General Assembly in his anti-Iran speech.
“Iran is dangerous because of its fanatic ideology of global conquest, its growing power, its unflagging commitment to destroy Israel [and] its unvarnished aggression.
“Iran has already spread conflict around the Middle East, in Yemen, in Iraq and Syria and Lebanon. We are far from alone in recognizing the Iranian threat to the Middle East. The leading Arab countries, Saudi Arabia, see things exactly as we do. They are right,” Netanyahu concluded.