Netanyahu defends comparison of Iran, Nazi Holocaust

Netanyahu defends comparison of Iran, Nazi Holocaust

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected criticism of his likening of a nuclear-armed Iran to the Nazi Holocaust as improper, saying in an address to the country on Wednesday that “uncomfortable truths” must be aired.

He defended his analogy on the eve of Israel’s annual day of Holocaust remembrance against those who say it is not only irreverent to the six million Jews killed by Hitler’s Germany but also stokes panic about a new war.

The Jewish state has not ruled out military strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities if international sanctions imposed on Tehran or diplomacy fail to curb its atomic programme.

Western states suspect Iran is enriching uranium to develop the capability to build atomic bombs. The Islamic Republic says its enrichment programme is solely for peaceful energy purposes and poses no threat to anyone.

Israel, widely assumed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, say a nuclear-armed Iran would be a mortal threat and when speaking of the issue, Netanyahu often cites lessons learned from the Holocaust.

“I know there are people who believe that it is forbidden to mention the unique evil of the Holocaust while talking about the current threats facing the Jewish people. They claim that doing so cheapens the Holocaust and insults its victims,” Netanyahu said. “I completely reject this approach.”

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