Those who support US President Donald Trump’s effort to denuclearize North Korea should stand behind his quest to halt a nuclear Iran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
"Dangerous regimes should denuclearize,” Netanyahu told the AJC Global Forum, whose members gathered in Jerusalem before Tuesday's meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“I think the entire world, as we do, prays for the success of this effort,” Netanyahu said.
“Now, imagine, imagine: Imagine that President Trump would come back with some deal, and Britain, France and Germany would applaud it and South Korea and Japan would say that it endangers their existence,” Netanyahu said.
With regard to the Iran deal, one can see that same global division
between those in missile range and those who are not, Netanyahu said.
“This deal was applauded by many in the international community who are not in the missile range of Iran, but Israel and Saudi Arabia and others said this deal will ultimately give Iran a nuclear arsenal,” Netanyahu said.
Israel fears it will be Tehran’s first target after it becomes nuclear, Netanyahu said.
“They will use [nuclear weapons] first against us, and then with the long-range missiles that they’re building and that the deal doesn’t prevent them from building, against everyone else,” Netanyahu said.
Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he blamed the frozen Israeli-Palestinian peace process on the Palestinian failure to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
“The reason we don’t have peace is not because of the absence of a Palestinian state. It has been offered many, many times, and it has been rejected many, many times because it always had a condition: No Jewish state,” Netanyahu said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday criticized US "unilateralism" in withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and said he appreciated efforts by China and Russia to maintain the agreement.
"The US efforts to impose its policies on others are expanding as a threat to all," Rouhani told the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional security grouping led by China and Russia where Iran has observer status.
"The recent example of such unilateralism and the defiance of the decisions of the international community by the US government is its withdrawal from the JCPOA," he said, referring to the nuclear agreement by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Reuters contributed to this report.