After Raisi Win, Israeli PM Bennett Warns Against Iran’s ‘Regime of Executioners’ Getting Bomb

Naftali Bennett (Menahem Kahana / AFP / Getty)
Menahem Kahana / AFP / Getty

Following the election of Iranian hardliner Ebrahim Raisi as the next Iranian president, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned Sunday against Iran’s “regime of executioners” obtaining a nuclear bomb, adding Raisi’s election should be a “wake up call” for western powers hoping to resuscitate the tattered nuclear deal.

“Raisi’s election as president of Iran is a signal to world powers that they need to wake up,” Bennett said at the opening of his new government’s first Sunday cabinet meeting. “This may be the last signal a moment before returning to the Iran Deal. They must understand who they’re doing business with and what kind of regime they are choosing to strengthen.
“A regime of executioners cannot have weapons of mass destruction,” the prime minister outlined, according to a translation of his remarks by the Jerusalem Post.

His comments came as Iran’s nuclear envoy, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, said at the end of the sixth round of nuclear negotiations in Vienna his country was “closer than ever” to a deal but that the U.S. needed to make some decisions.

Raisi, a judge under U.S. sanctions for human rights abuses, won the four-candidate election with a record low turnout of only 48.8 percent.

Foreign Minister and alternate prime minister Yair Lapid dubbed Raisi as the “Butcher of Tehran” who is “an extremist responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranians.”

 “His election should prompt renewed determination to immediately stop Iran’s nuclear program and put an end to its destructive regional ambitions,” Lapid tweeted.
Israel’s Channel 12 on Saturday cited senior Israeli security officials as saying Raisi’s election would force the country into preemptively attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat said that Raisi will be the “most extremist president to date.”

He tweeted: “An extremist figure, committed to Iran’s rapidly advancing military nuclear program, his election makes clear Iran’s true malign intentions, and should prompt grave concern among the international community.”

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi led a delegation of Israel’s top military brass to Washington early Sunday to meet with American officials about Iran’s nuclear program.

“The chief of staff will discuss with his counterparts current shared security challenges, including matters dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat, Iran’s efforts to entrench itself militarily in the Middle East, Hezbollah’s rearmament efforts, the consequences of the threat of precision-guided missiles and joint force build-up,” the IDF said in a statement.

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