Netanyahu: Iran killed 176 people and lied about it

‘They knew from the start that they took it down, they knew it was not on purpose, but they lied on purpose’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting, January 2020. (photo credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY / POOL)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting, January 2020.
(photo credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY / POOL)
Iran killed scores of people and tried to hide it from the international community, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the opening of a cabinet meeting on Sunday.
“Iran is not only oppressing its nation and coordinating the terrorism throughout the Middle East, it also caused the death of 176 people and after that hid it and lied to the international community,” Netanyahu said, the day after Iran admitted to shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane.
Netanyahu sent his condolences to the families of those killed.
The prime minister emphasized that “Israel will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.”
“I praise [US] President [Donald] Trump for putting new, very severe sanctions on this regime,” he added.
Netanyahu pointed out that the new sanctions came soon after Tehran’s announcement that it will accelerate its uranium enrichment, and called on the UK, France and Germany to join the American effort.
“They need to go to the [UN] Security Council and there they need to activate the sanctions that they decided on in the past,” he said.
The prime minister also commended the courage of Iranians protesting the mullah’s regime.
“They deserve freedom; they deserve liberty; they deserve the ability to live in security and peace – all of the things that this regime is preventing them from having,” he stated.
Netanyahu did not make any reference to reports from NBC and The New York Times that Israel provided intelligence used by the US to find and kill Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani last week, or that Israel was the only country outside the US whose leaders knew of the strike in advance.
Netanyahu also eulogized Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who died at age 79 over the weekend.
“About a year ago, I visited Oman and held a very exciting meeting with Sultan Qaboos bin Said,” he said. “It was one of the meetings that impressed me more than any other. We spent almost two whole days together.”
Netanyahu said he was impressed by Qaboos’s “generosity, wise leadership, changes he made in Oman when he turned it into an advanced country in the region and a state that worked to promote stability and peace in the region.”
The prime minister also congratulated Qaboos’s heir, Hitham bin Tariq, and expressed appreciation for the new sultan saying he plans to continue Oman’s foreign policy.
“There is a greater opportunity than ever before to develop new relations with Arab states,” Netanyahu said. “We are working on it, I am working on it, including in recent days. I believe that this will bear fruit soon."