Moshe Ya'alon visiting Dimona 370.
(photo credit: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry)
An unconventional regime, such as the Iranian regime, must not be allowed to have unconventional abilities, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon told high school students in Dimona on Wednesday.
"This regime must not have military nuclear ability. Even if they don't throw a [nuclear] bomb right away, it is obvious that under nuclear protection [the regime] will dare to do more," he said.
"You have to understand what the Iranian regime actually is. It's an extremist Islamic-Shi'ite regime focused on defeating western society. It's not just about ruling in Iran, [it's also] pestering us [Israel] with Hezbollah or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad," Ya'alon told the students.
"The Iranian regime is saying 'The big devil is America, you have to defeat the western culture. The small devil is Israel, and we need to wipe it off the map,'" Ya'alon said.
"It's not just Iran vs. Israel, it's Iran vs. western society," the defense minister stressed, detailing the different areas of the world in which Iran has terror cells.
The Iranian regime "is willing to pay a heavy price, living under heavy sanctions, as long as they can keep operating terror cells everywhere, wherever they can," he said.
Ya'alon accused world powers of sweeping the Iranian threat under the carpet at first, and said Israel had to push hard for more pressure on Iran to get the world's attention to the danger Tehran poses.
"We told them you have to pressure this regime and bring it to a dilemma: either it continues working for a nuclear bomb, or it ensures its own survival."
Despite that, the defense minister says Israel supports diplomacy and will not rush to a military strike against the Islamic Republic.
"We never said the military option was the first option on the table. As someone who experienced wars I can tell you that in every decision I make, the use of force is the last option, but sometimes there is no choice," he said.