PM: With bin Laden gone, Khamenei biggest peace threat

Netanyahu tells CNN Iran's supreme leader is "infused with fanaticism"; sanctions will only work in tandem with credible military threat.

May 5, 2011 16:37
1 minute read.
Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei and Ahmadinejad

Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei and Ahmadinejad 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)


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Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei is a fanatic and the biggest threat to world peace now that Osama bin Laden has been killed, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told CNN in an interview conducted in London on Thursday.

The Ayatollah, the final and supreme authority in theocratic Iran, is more worrisome than Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because "he runs the country and he is infused with fanaticism," the prime minister said in light of Iran's nuclear program.

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If Iran succeeds it obtaining or production nuclear weapons, Netanyahu told CNN, "it will change history. The future of the world - the future of the Middle East - is certainly at stake."

Sanctions backed by a credible military threat, he said, must be implemented to prevent such a situation. "Those sanctions might work if the international community makes it clear that there is a credible military option if sanctions don't work."

Addressing the killing of Osama bin Laden and what consequences his death have on the world, Netanyahu explained: "When the world's number one terrorist... is brought to justice and eliminated, it tells terrorists everywhere there's a price and you will pay it, and that's good."

The prime minister also discussed the ongoing unrest in the Middle East, expressing hope for democracy but also reservations that revolutions can turn sour.

"Something very big is happening here, a convulsion... We would like to see the triumph of democracy... that's something that will guarantee the peace," Netanyahu said.

Warning that Islamists might hijack otherwise democratic revolutionary movements, however, he said "the biggest threat is the possibility that a militant Islamic regime will acquire nuclear weapons -- or that nuclear weapons could acquire a militant Islamic regime."

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