Netanyahu sweating 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
MOSCOW - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in Moscow on Thursday that Russia and Israel will face a common threat if "radical Islamist" states acquire nuclear weapons, Russian news agencies reported.
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Netanyahu, whose government has urged Russia to increase pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, spoke to Russian media bosses before talks with President Dmitry Medvedev.
"There is a now a big risk that radicalization of Islamist regimes will begin in the Middle East," state-run Itar-Tass quoted Netanyahu as saying, according to a translation of his remarks into Russian.
"This risk is dangerous not only for Israel but (also) for Russia," Netanyahu said.
The Kremlin is fighting an uphill battle with Islamist insurgents in its mainly Muslim North Caucasus region, where rebels want to carve out a separate state with Sharia law.
A decade after separatists were driven out of power in the second of two
wars in Chechnya, the North Caucasus are plagued by violence and
analysts say the insurgency is gaining membership numbers and spreading
"But it will be much worse if radical Islamist regimes acquire nuclear
weapons. Terror will be aimed against all. That is why the most
important thing now is to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,"
Netanyahu was quoted as saying.
Netanyahu said the international community must make clear to Iran that
it will face military action if it continues to defy demands for proof
it is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons, Itar-Tass reported.
Russia backed a fourth round of UN sanctions against Tehran over its
nuclear program last June but has emphasized its opposition to military
action, saying the persistent standoff must be resolved instead through
Israel applauded Russia when it voted in favor of the sanctions and
President Dmitry Medvedev subsequently said a longstanding deal to sell
Iran high-precision S-300 missile systems was outlawed by the sanctions.