Israel’s highest leaders have never officially and publically admitted to having an arsenal of nuclear weapons, which are believed to be held as a deterrent and have never been used in combat. However, with the Iranian regime threatening to wipe out Israel while angling for nuclear weapons of their own, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a strong—if intentionally vague—defensive threat of his own.
Speaking at a ceremony renaming a nuclear research center in honor of former President Shimon Peres, Netanyahu warned Iran and noted, “Whoever threatens us with destruction puts himself in similar danger, and in any case will not achieve his goal.” That sounds similar to the “mutually-assured destruction” doctrine held by the Russians and the United States during the Cold War, in which both sides effectively had the capability of destroying the opposing side with nuclear weapons, thereby deterring both nations from deploying the nukes.
Netanyahu, in the comments on Wednesday released by his office, also made it clear that reports of Iran’s military cooperation agreement with Syria would not prevent Israel from acting to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Israel’s northern neighbor.
“In the military sphere, the IDF will continue to take strong and determined action against Iran’s attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria. No agreement between Syria and Iran will deter us; neither will any threat deter us,” said the Israeli leader.
He said they would “not relent” in the effort to disengage Iran from Syria, “just as we did not relent in bringing about the cancellation of the bad nuclear agreement with Iran, a goal which was seen as impossible when I put it on the international agenda for the first time several years ago.”
United States President Donald Trump withdrew his nation from the accord earlier this year and recently re-imposed sanctions on Iran in an effort to drive change in the regime’s behavior, including the nuclear and missile spheres.
Speaking of those sanctions, Netanyahu noted their impact is already being felt. “In the diplomatic sphere, we will continue to apply pressure on the dangerous, extremist regime in Iran,” said Netanyahu. “Just yesterday we saw the fruit of this pressure in remarks by the Iranian President [Hassan Rouhani] who said that many among the Iranian people have lost hope in the future and strength of Iran due to the resumption of economic sanctions.”
But not everything can be won with diplomacy. Netanyahu, in renaming the nuclear facility after Peres, noted the deceased Israeli leader understood “true peace can be achieved only if our hands strongly grasp defensive weaponry.” Netanyahu believes that Israel’s strength is key to normal relations with Arab nations, a process already underway in certain arenas.
Netanyahu also believes that Israel’s strength is key to deterring her opponents. “Our enemies know very well what Israel is capable of doing. They are familiar with our policy. Whoever tries to hurt us—we hurt them,” said the Israeli leader in his speech for the renaming of the nuclear facility.
“I am not spouting slogans. I am describing a persistent, clear and determined policy. This is our policy. It is backed by appropriate deployment, equipment, preparedness and—in the hour of need—appropriate orders.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 29, 2018)