Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised on Tuesday that Iran would not gain a foothold in Syria by which to attack Israel. The premier spoke via video to American Jewish leaders just hours after Russia clarified the it had no intention of pushing Tehran’s military forces out of the country.
"Iran is scheming to entrench itself militarily in Syria. They want to create a permanent air, land and sea military presence, with the declared intent of using Syria as a base from which to destroy Israel. We are not going to agree to that. I have said very clearly that Israel will work to stop this,” Netanyahu told the Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly which is meeting in Los Angeles.
“We must all work together to stop Iran’s aggression and its pursuit of nuclear weapons. If we stand together we will achieve it. But if we have to we'll stand alone. Iran will not get nuclear weapons. It will not turn Syria into a military base against Israel,” the premier asserted.
Further stressing Israel's dismay over the Iran nuclear deal, Netanyahu said: “We must ensure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon. That is the bottom line and the most important. The Iran nuclear deal does not achieve that. On the contrary, after about a decade, it will leave Iran able to produce hundreds of nuclear weapons in a very short time, because the deal rescinds all the limitations on Iran’s enrichment capacity. They can have hundreds of thousands of centrifuges and they plan to.”
Both Israel and the United States believe that the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, designed to limit Iran’s nuclear capacity, is dangerous because it leaves Tehran with the ability to create nuclear weapons.
Outside of the US, Russia, China, Great Britain, Germany and France signed the document, but none of those five countries have expressed interest in changing the document.
Netanyahu has said that safeguards against Iran can be put in place, without changing the text.
US President Donald Trump has created an opportunity for the the five world powers to address the flaws in the document, the prime minister said.
“You have to correct it [the Iran deal], either by fixing it or nixing it,” Netanyahu continued, adding that he has previously encouraged world leaders to take action to improve the document
“Iran is dangerous because of its fanatic ideology of global conquest, its growing power, its unflagging commitment to destroy Israel [and] its unvarnished aggression.
“Iran has already spread conflict around the Middle East, in Yemen, in Iraq and Syria and Lebanon. We are far from alone in recognizing the Iranian threat to the Middle East. The leading Arab countries, Saudi Arabia, see things exactly as we do. They are right,” Netanyahu concluded.