Ya'alon: Force Iran to choose - nukes or survival

Defense minister calls for more international pressure on Tehran, says Syria's war is "nearing our borders."

June 19, 2013 20:05
1 minute read.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (R) looks into Syria on tour of Golan Heights

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon 370. (photo credit: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry spokesman)

The Iranian regime will not cease its efforts to obtain nuclear weapons unless it understands that the international community is determined to stop it, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Wednesday during a military ceremony.

Speaking at an end-of-training event for IDF officers at a base in Mitzpe Ramon, Ya’alon said that “In recent days, the world has again turned its gaze to Tehran.

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“We are examining the new developments in Iran in light of the elections results, but are also sober about the ambitions of the Iranian regime to obtain nuclear weapons.”

Iran openly speaks of Israel’s destruction, and has not felt until now that the international community is determined enough to stop it, Ya’alon added, calling for a “significant increase in pressure by Western countries to lead Iran to the dilemma of either having a bomb or surviving.” Ya’alon described Israel as a peace-seeking nation.

Turning to the new officers, he described their responsibilities in preparing their soldiers for battle, which could break unexpectedly.

“They say that war is the kingdom of uncertainty,” Ya’alon said. “At this time, the IDF is dealing – both at home and abroad, near and far – with a considerable number of fronts of uncertainty.”

Ya’alon cited the Lebanese front – where Hezbollah continues to arm itself and plans on harming Israeli civilians in a future conflict with Israel – and the front with Syria, “where a civil war continues to exact a heavy price of human lives, and... is nearing our borders, placing us before a complex test that is full of significance.”

The defense minister discussed the uncertain threats from the Gaza Strip, where Hamas continued to ruled and “has set as its goal the destruction of the State of Israel.”

Ya’alon also addressed the recent NIS 3 billion budget cut to the defense budget, describing it as a source of concern that will compel regular forces to increase the quantity of operational missions [in the place of reserves forces], and suffer a decrease in training programs.

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