PM to Japanese FM: Irrational regimes craving nukes threaten us both

Netanyahu alludes to Iranian, North Korean nuclear threats.

July 24, 2013 18:34
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, July 24, 2013.

Netanyahu and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida 370 . (photo credit: GPO / Moshe Milner)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called again on Wednesday for the international community to impose stricter sanctions on Iran, saying this was the only way to bring about a real change in the Islamic Republic's behavior.

Speaking before a meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and alluding to Iran and North Korea, Netanyahu said that both Japan and Israel were facing "rebellious regimes with dangerous nuclear weapons programs."

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The two countries know very well the threats to their security and the security of the world posed by "extremist, irrational" regimes  looking to arm themselves not only with atomic weapons, but also with ballistic missiles to deliver them, he said.

"On Iran, it is crucial that we see a change in Iran's policy, not a change in style, but a change in substance," Netanyahu said. "And that can only be gauged by meeting the demands of the United Nations Security Council. Iran must stop all enrichment.  It must remove all the enriched nuclear material from its territory. It must shut down the illicit nuclear facility in Qom. And all work on plutonium production must cease," he added.

Regarding the diplomatic process with the Palestinians, Netanyahu remained vague regarding the timing of the talks that are supposed to start in Washington in the near future.

"We both want to see peace between Israel and the Palestinians. I hope that soon we will be able to see the beginning of peace talks. Our team is ready – we've always been ready," he said.

Resuming negotiations now with the Palestinian Authority is a vital Israeli strategic interest, Netanyahu said on Saturday night, after US Secretary of State John Kerry announced in Amman the previous night the resumption of talks.

The resumption of talks is important “on its own” in order to bring about an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the prime minister said in a statement issued by his office.

“And it is important in light of the challenges we face, especially from Iran and Syria,” he stated.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

Netanyahu said that he will be guided by two central aims in conducting the negotiations: thwarting the creation of a bi-national state from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, and preventing the establishment of an additional Iranian-backed terrorist state on Israel’s borders.

Kishida who is in the region to participate in the 4th Ministerial Meeting of the Four-Party Consultative Unit for the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity which is due to be held today in Jericho, also met with President Shimon Peres.

Peres also voiced his appreciation for Japan's participation in the efforts to prevent Iran from going nuclear and becoming a world center for terrorism. There  are already enough bombs in the world said Peres, noting that Japan had suffered more than any other country from being bombed.

The Corridor for Peace and Prosperity, established as a Japanese initiative in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, Israel and Jordan, is Japan's contribution towards the co-existence and co-prosperity of the Palestinians and their neighbors.

Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.

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