All who threaten Israel with destruction is putting itself in danger of being destroyed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday from the newly named Shimon Peres Nuclear Research Center in Dimona.
Netanyahu’s words were aimed at Iran.
“We are working to prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria,” he said. “We will not relent in pursuit of this goal, just as we did not relent in bringing about the cancellation of the bad nuclear agreement with Iran, a goal which was seen as impossible when I put it on the international agenda for the first time several years ago.”
Netanyahu said that in the diplomatic sphere, Israel will continue to apply pressure on Iran.
“Just yesterday, we saw the fruit of this pressure in remarks by the Iranian president, who said that many among the Iranian people have lost hope in the future and strength of Iran, due to the resumption of economic sanctions,” he said.
And in the military sphere, Netanyahu pledged that the IDF would “continue to take strong and determined action against Iran’s attempts to station forces and advance weapons systems in Syria. No agreement between Syria and Iran will deter us; neither will any threat deter us. Whoever threatens us with destruction puts himself in similar danger, and in any case will not achieve his goal.”
The prime minister’s words came at a ceremony renaming the Negev Nuclear Research Center after Peres. Netanyahu decided to rename the facility shortly after Peres’s death two years ago, in recognition of the critical role Peres played in the development of Israel’s nuclear capabilities. Peres’s children and grandchildren were in attendance at the ceremony.
“Shimon aspired toward peace, but he knew that true peace can be achieved only if our hands strongly grasp defensive weaponry,” Netanyahu said. “In the Middle East, and in many parts of the world, there is a simple truth: there is no place for the weak. The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history, while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.”
Netanyahu said a process of normalization by leading Arab countries with “the strong State of Israel” is happening “before our eyes on a scale that would have been impossible to imagine a few years ago.”
He added that while this process holds within it the hope that the “circle of peace will be completed,” it is undeniable that Israel has “many enemies in this region and beyond.”
“But our enemies know very well what Israel is capable of doing,” he said. “They are familiar with our policy. Whoever tries to strike us – we will strike them.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif responded angrily to Netanyahu's comments on Wednesday evening.
"Iran, a country without nuclear weapons, is threatened with atomic annihilation by a warmonger standing next to an actual nuclear weapons factory. Beyond shameless in the gall," wrote Zarif on Twitter.