Netanyahu: Israel’s top problem is "Iran, Iran, Iran"
Speaking to Fox News Digital before becoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed Israel’s national security and U.S. foreign policy ahead of November’s election. He spoke to Fox News Digital following the release of his new memoir "Bibi: My Story."
Israel will prepare for possible action against Iran’s nuclear facilities after a series of secret meetings between the prime minister and leaders from the defense and intelligence ministries, according to a leaked report.
“Israel will not allow Iran to become nuclear,” Brigadier-General (Reserves) Amir Avivi, founder and chairman of the Israeli Defense Security Forum, told Fox News Digital. “As we are witnessing the continued unhindered progress of the Iranian military nuclear program with weapons-grade enrichment, Israel is readying its credible military option.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held five meetings with his defense and intelligence chiefs, as well as the head of Mossad, to discuss the possible attack, local news outlet Channel 12 reported. The report did not name any source, and The Times of Israel speculated that officials could have leaked the report in order to make clear the country’s resolve and intent.
Tensions between Israel and Iran have flared in recent weeks after a drone strike hit Iranian military facilities, with Tehran saying “early investigations suggest that the Israelis were responsible for this attempted act of aggression.”
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Israel has regularly raised concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, and the report could be part of a plan to push Western allies to act rather than leave Israel to act alone. It has warned the U.S. and France that it will act alone if the international community does not provide support, The Telegraph reported.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a hearing at the Magistrate’s Court in Rishon LeZion, Israel, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. Netanyahu made a surprise trip to Jordan to meet with King Abdullah II Tuesday, Jan 24. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP)
“The only thing that has ever stopped rogue nations from developing nuclear weapons is a credible military threat or a credible military action,” Netanyahu said at a national security conference on Tuesday.
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“A necessary condition and often a sufficient condition is credible military action,” he continued. “The longer you wait, the harder that becomes. We’ve waited very long.”
Former President Hassan Rouhani, second right, listens to head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi while visiting an exhibition of Iran’s new nuclear achievements in Tehran, Iran, in April 2021. (Iranian Presidency Office/AP)
The Biden administration had attempted to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, following former President Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the agreement. Talks stalled out in September after it appeared that Iranian officials continued to move the goalposts on demands.
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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “Iran had moved away from extraneous demands, demands unrelated to the JCPOA itself,” but by that time talks had gone “backward,” and the U.S. admitted that they would not “meet our bottom-line requirements.”
An Iranian long-range Ghadr missile displaying “Down with Israel” in Hebrew is pictured at a defence exhibition in city of Isfahan, central Iran, on Feb. 8, 2023. (Photo by MORTEZA SALEHI/TASNIM NEWS/AFP via Getty Images)
Avivi made clear that a nuclear Iran “will not be a threat to Israel alone,” but would ultimately “destabilize the entire Middle East and challenge the U.S.-dominated world order.”
“I believe that preventing a nuclear Iran is a global priority, which should be achieved under American leadership, based on a credible military plan and crippling sanctions,” Avivi said.
“If the free countries of the world fail to take action against Iran, Israel will not have a choice but to act alone to safeguard its very existence,” Avivi continued. “The regional and global repercussions of a confrontation between Iran and Israel will reach farther than the war in Ukraine and may likely challenge global stability at an unprecedented magnitude.”
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Mohammed Eslami, Iran’s nuclear chief, on Wednesday said inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency were in Tehran to resolve “ambiguities,” but Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said that the officials would visit in the coming days.
When asked to comment on Israel’s Channel 12 report, a spokesperson at Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office told Fox News Digital that they had “nothing to add.”
Fox News Yonat Friling and Fox News Digital’s Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.
Peter Aitken is a Fox News Digital reporter with a focus on national and global news.