Liberman to ‘Post’: Decisions on Iran must be made in Jerusalem

In a preview of his upcoming exclusive interview with 'Post' Editor-in-Chief Steve Linde, Avigdor Liberman talks foreign policy, the Netanyahu speech and the future of Israeli elections.

By
March 4, 2015 14:47
2 minute read.

Liberman to ‘Post’: Decisions on Iran must be made in Jerusalem‏

Liberman to ‘Post’: Decisions on Iran must be made in Jerusalem‏

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Key decisions on countering Iran’s nuclear program must be made in Jerusalem, Foreign Minister and Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman declared on Wednesday.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post Election Arena at the Herzliya Studios, Liberman praised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on Tuesday, but said “crucial decisions” needed to be taken by this government or the next.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“It was a very important speech in Washington, but what is more important is to take decisions in Jerusalem,”  Liberman said. “It’s our responsibility as a government for our citizens.”

Asked to elaborate, Liberman said: “First of all, I think it’s possible to stop Iran, and second, we must keep all options on the table.”

Liberman said he believed the tension between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama over the issue of Iran was “temporary.”

“It’s temporary tension. You know, it’s not personal tensions, it’s tension between two states,” he said. “I think it’s clear to everybody that we enjoy very, very reliable and stable relations, and we have very close security, intelligence and economic cooperation.”

In response to Obama’s criticism that Netanyahu hadn’t presented an alternative to the current deal being negotiated between the world powers and Iran in Vienna, Liberman said: “I don’t think it’s the right approach to discuss this issue through the mass media. I think that even if we have disagreements with America, there’s a way to discuss and argue in closed meetings and closed rooms.”

Asked what he saw as the biggest challenge facing Israel today, Liberman said: “No doubt it is the Iranian threat. It’s the biggest challenge, not only for Israel, but for the Middle East and the entire world.”

He noted that much of the Arab world opposed the impending deal between the P5+1 and Tehran, adding that Iran posed the greatest threat to the stability of the countries surrounding Israel.


“They are trying to undermine all our neighbors,” he said. “You see what’s happening in Lebanon, in Syria, in Yemen and even in Bahrain. We must understand the consequences of an Iranian nuclear program. It’s a crazy nuclear arms race like in horror movies in Hollywood. I don’t believe Turkey, Saudi Arabia or even Egypt will accept Iran as a nuclear power in our region.”

Asked what he expected to emerge out of the March 17 elections, Liberman said he hoped to change the country’s electoral system.

“I think it’s the problem of our country,” he said. “Every two years since we established the State of Israel, we have a new government. It’s really a crazy situation. It’s impossible to handle all the challenges if you change your government every two years.”

Liberman said the new government must start from scratch and ask what kind of political system is desirable.

“Today elections are really something unnecessary, not for our society, not for our security, not for our economy,” he said. “I have personally spoken for some years about deep changes needed in our political system.”

He said Israel should consider a presidential system like the one in the US, but it was essential to maintain the separation of powers between the branches of government, the Knesset and the Supreme Court.

“The biggest thing is that we must provide stability for a political system and not have elections every two years,” he said. “I will support any ideas that will make our system more stable and more viable.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Gideon Sa'ar
March 24, 2015
Sa'ar says national unity government is 'still on the table'

By JPOST.COM STAFF