One week after the Iranians dramatically escalated their conflict with Israel by flying a drone from Syria into Israeli airspace, Netanyahu escalated his own warnings to Iran in dramatic fashion on Sunday. “We will act, if necessary, not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself,” said the Israeli leader. In comments released by his office, Netanyahu noted that “Israel will not allow Iran’s regime to put a noose of terror around our neck. We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves.”
During his speech to the Munich Security Conference, at which Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was present, Netanyahu noted that the Iranian diplomat “lies with eloquence” and his country denies its involvement in the drone incident. So to prove his point, Netanyahu brought an actual piece of the drone shot down by Israel with him and held it up to the conference. Said Netanyahu while displaying the drone wreckage, “Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this? You should. It’s yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran: Do not test Israel’s resolve.”
Netanyahu warned the event’s attendees of Iran’s threat by pointing not only to the drone piece but also to the history of conference’s host city of Munich, Germany. There, European powers infamously reached an ill-fated agreement to appease Nazi Germany seeking peace that instead inadvertently set the stage for World War II.
The Israeli leader similarly warned that the 2015 Iran nuclear accord was signed by leaders hoping for peace but was made with a nation “that brutalizes its own people and terrorizes its neighbors.” While he noted that Iran and Nazi Germany are different, they have similarities—including goals to conquer a lot more than just a small piece of the globe.
“Iran seeks to dominate our region, the Middle East, and seeks to dominate the world through aggression and terror. It’s developing ballistic missiles to reach deep into Europe and to the United States as well,” said Netanyahu in the central European city. “…The commander of the Revolutionary Guard, Ali Jafari, said, we’re on the path to the rule of Islam worldwide. That means right here too.”
Netanyahu further warned that that danger would only grow if Iran eventually parlays the weak nuclear agreement into achieving nuclear weapons as restrictions wind down in the coming years.
“Once armed with nuclear weapons, Iran’s aggression will be unchecked and it will encompass the entire world. Look at what they are doing now, before they have nuclear weapons. Imagine what they will do later if G-d forbid they’ll have them.”
In the present, Netanyahu noted that the financial benefits for Iran from sanctions relief under the deal has only made things worse. “It’s not made them more moderate internally and it’s not made them more moderate externally. In fact, it’s unleashed a dangerous Iranian tiger in our region and beyond,” said Netanyahu, pointing specifically to Iran’s activity and ambitions in Syria. He further said that Israel will fight back.
“I’ve made clear in word and deed that Israel has red lines it will enforce. Israel will continue to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria,” he said. “Israel will continue to act to prevent Iran from establishing another terror base from which to threaten Israel.”
The Israeli leader reiterated that Israel “has no quarrel” with the people of Iran and believes that one day the Iranian dictatorship will collapse and peace will again “flourish” between the Jewish and Persian nations. But to get there, others must join Israel in battling back against Iran’s nefarious ambitions.
“Today we must speak clearly, we must act boldly,” said Netanyahu to the international audience. “We can stop this dangerous regime. We can roll back its aggression and by doing so, create a more peaceful, a more prosperous and a more secure world for our region and for our future.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, February 18, 2018)