Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned against allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons in his speech to the AIPAC Convention in Washington Monday night local time, vowing to never let Israel live under the shadow of annihilation or gamble with its security.
Addressing concerns about the cost a military strike aimed at stopping its nuclear program, Netanyahu said: "It's about time we start talking about the cost of not stopping Iran."
A nuclear-armed Iran, he warned, would provide a nuclear umbrella for terrorists and thereby increase global terrorism, could choke off the world's oil supply, and could threaten the world with nuclear terrorism.
Iran, the prime minister asserted, must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.
Israel, he explained, has been waiting for years to see if diplomacy and sanctions against Iran's nuclear program would work, but said they have not been successful.
He warned that Israel cannot wait much longer.
As the prime minister of Israel, "I will never let my people live in the shadow of annihilation."
"In every generation, there are those who wish to destroy the Jewish people. In this generation, we are blessed to live in a time when there is a Jewish state capable of defending the Jewish people," he concluded, thanking AIPAC and the United States for supporting Israel and its right to self-defense.
The speech followed a meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House earlier Monday, after which he said Israel's position on Iran was "accepted with understanding" by the American administration.