Netanyahu was the first Israeli PM to address Munich conference, brings part of Iranian drone Israel destroyed last week; Netanyahu to Iranian FM: You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran: Do not test Israel’s resolve.
Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, centering his speech on Iran, the nuclear deal and the threat it poses to Israel and the globe.
The prime minister spoke of the “striking similarities” between the Nazis and Iran, stating “Iran openly declares its intention to annihilate the State of Israel with its 6 million Jews,” and that “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 the United States as well.”
Referring to Iran as the “greatest threat to the world”, Netanyahu spoke of the nuclear deal and Iran’s efforts and deception in working towards obtaining nuclear weapons. He warned that “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 God forbid, they’ll have them.”
The prime minister then shifted to Iran’s efforts in the region through its proxies alongside its nuclear program. He stated “The nuclear agreement with Iran has begun the countdown to an Iranian nuclear arsenal in a little more than a decade. And the sanction relief that the deal provided has not moderated Iran, has not made them more moderate internally and its not made them more moderate externally. In fact, its unleashed a dangerous, Iranian tiger in the region and beyond. Through its proxies Shiite militia in Iraq, the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza- Iran is devouring huge swathes of the Middle East.”
Netanyahu, however, pointed out “one positive consequence of Iran’s actions” that has “brought Arabs and Israelis closer together as never before. And in a paradoxical way, this may pave the way for broader peace, and ultimately for an Israeli-Palestinian peace. This could happen, but it will not happen if Iran’s aggression continues to grow.”
On Iran’s growing presence in Syria, Netanyahu stated “Nowhere are Iran’s belligerent ambitions clearer than in Syria. There Iran hopes to complete a continuous empire, linking Tehran to Tartus, the Caspian to the Mediterranean.” He reiterated and warned “I 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. Israel will continue to act to prevent Iran from establishing another terror base from which to threaten Israel. Iran continues to try to cross those red lines.”
He assured 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.”
Netanyahu then spoke of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who is to address the conference later on Sunday, referring to him as the “smooth-talking mouthpiece of Iran’s regime.” He spoke of the Iranian drone that entered Israel last week. Holding up a piece of the drone, he stated “Iran denies that it committed an act of aggression against Israel last week. That it sent a drone into our airspace to threaten our people. Well, here’s a piece of that Iranian drone, or what’s left of it after we shot it down. I brought it here so you can see it for yourself. Mr Zarif, do you recognize this? You should- its yours.”
He then told Zarif, “You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran: Do not test Israel’s resolve.”
The prime minister then spoke of the bravery of the Iranian people who are fighting the regime, clarifying that Israel has “no quarrel with the people of Iran, only with the regime that torments them.”
He ended his speech stating “The great peace between the ancient Jewish people and the ancient Persian people will flourish again. When that happens, the people of Iran will be free, and the people in the region and throughout the world will breathe a sigh of relief. But today, we must speak clearly, we must act boldly- 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.”
Netanyahu again made history as the first Israeli prime minister to address the conference.
Photo: Netanyahu at Munich conference with part of Iranian drone, Screenshot, 2018