Lapid warns Israel is prepared to stop Iran if threats continue

Iran is behind “radical forces sowing terror, grief and devastation and seeking to menace everyone in the world,” said Herzog.

 Prime Minister Yair Lapid visits the Nevatim Air Base. (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/PMO)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid visits the Nevatim Air Base.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/PMO)

Israel is prepared to stop any threat from Iran, Prime Minister Yair Lapid warned during a visit to the Nevatim Air Force Base on Tuesday.

“If Iran keeps trying, it will discover Israel’s long arm and its abilities,” Lapid said. “We will continue to act on every front against terrorism and those who wish us harm.”

The prime minister said it is still “too early to know if we indeed succeeded in blocking the Iran deal,” a day after the EU coordinatorof the talks said he is less hopeful for an agreement than before following Tehran’s most recent response.

Lapid cited US President Joe Biden saying his country “will not tie Israel’s hands” when it comes to defending itself and stopping the possibility that Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon.

"Dark forces of hate, led by Iran, threaten not only Israel, and not only stability in the Middle East, but the global order itself. Here, at this important forum in Berlin, I call on the family of nations to work firmly and assertively against Iran and its plans to develop nuclear weapons."

President Yitzhak Herzog

The premier’s visit to the IAF base came as Mossad head David Barnea was in Washington to meet with the heads of the CIA, the US military and more to convey his opposition to the deal being negotiated between Iran and world powers.

Iran is behind “radical forces sowing terror, grief and devastation and seeking to menace everyone in the world.”

President Isaac Herzog

Israel is against reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, on grounds that it does not sufficiently restrict Iran’s nuclear program and not for long enough, and that it gives the regime a massive cash influx despite its continued sponsorship of terrorism and proxy militias across the Middle East.

The JCPOA lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program, which would be gradually lifted in what are known as “sunset clauses,” beginning at the end of 2023. Former US president Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018, but Biden seeks to rejoin it. The latest draft of the deal gives Iran the same sanctions relief as in 2015, even though Iran is unable to scale back its nuclear program as much as it could then, because of great advances made in the past two years, and the fact that its limitations begin to expire in just over a year.

Also Tuesday, President Isaac Herzog implored the nations of the world in a speech before the Bundestag to stand up to Iran, its nuclear ambitions and its threats to destroy Israel.

“The possession of weapons of mass destruction by a UN member state that calls on a daily basis for the annihilation of another UN member state is simply inconceivable,” Herzog said. “A state that denies the Holocaust, a state that acts out of hatred and belligerency, a state that threatens the State of Israel’s right to exist is ineligible to sign deals that will only embolden it, is ineligible for kickbacks or funds, is ineligible for concessions, under any circumstances.”

Iran is behind “radical forces sowing terror, grief and devastation and seeking to menace everyone in the world,” Herzog said.

The president called on the international community to “stand on the right side of history, set clear conditions, impose fierce and essential sanctions, create an impermeable buffer between Iran and nuclear capabilities—it must act, and not back down…Don’t stand idly by.”

Regardless, Herzog added, “the State of Israel will defend itself and will fight by all means necessary against threats to it and to its citizens.”

Herzog mentioned that Germany was where, as a result of Christians massacring Jews during the First Crusade, the "Yizkor" memorial prayer was first added to Jewish liturgy.

Then the president said part of the "Yizkor" prayer in memory of the six million Jews killed by the Nazis and their accomplices.

“Never in human history was there a campaign like the one the Nazis and their accomplices conducted to annihilate the Jewish People," Herzog said. "Never in history was a state responsible, as Nazi Germany was responsible, for the loss of all semblance of humanity, for the erasure of all mercy, for the pursuit of the worldwide obliteration, with such awful cruelty, of an entire people."

The president recalled that his father, Chaim Herzog, served in the British Army in World War II was one of the first officers to liberate death camps in Germany, and later became the first Israeli president to visit Germany, in a trip that began at Bergen-Belsen.

"During his visit he said, and I quote: 'I bring with me neither forgiveness nor forgetfulness. The only ones who can forgive are the dead; the living have no right to forget,’" Herzog said.

The president called for Germany and Israel to work together to remember the Holocaust, wage an "all-out war on Holocaust denial...antisemitism and racism."

Herzog also thanked the German government for reaching an agreement with the families of the victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.