In a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in February of last year, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said that "No one, including [US President Barack] Obama can stop Israel if it feels an existential threat," Italian media reported on Sunday.
Berlusconi expressed his belief that Iran is working to secretly build a nuclear weapons program and that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad "promises to destroy the Israeli state," according to the reports. The Italian prime minister also reportedly said he was concerned that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government would preemptively strike Iran.
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