Netanyahu: New Threats Bringing Israel, Arab States Together
PM tells visiting German Defense Minister that while both Sunni and Shia Islamism pose a regional threat, Iran is by far the greater danger.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Tuesday afternoon with Germany’s Defense Minister Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, during her official visit to the State of Israel.
Speaking to Leyen at the start of their meeting, Netanyahu noted the constantly changing nature of the threats facing Israel – threats which endanger her neighbors as much as, if not more than, the Jewish state itself.
“We’ve made peace with two of our Arab neighbors, but there are new forces in the region,” the prime minister said. “They are threatening not only us but also threatening of course our Arab neighbors with whom we’ve made peace.”
Netanyahu identified that threat as both the Sunni and Shia versions of “militant Islam,” represented by Sunni Islamist terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, as well as the Shia Islamist regime in Iran – both of which are aggressively expanding their control and reach throughout the Middle East.
However the PM emphasized that the threat posed by Iran was far more dangerous than any others.
Such mutual threats “create… the opportunity to make other alliances with other Arab states, but at the same time, we have a great threat emanating from militant Islam, both from militant Sunnis in the form of ISIS and al-Qaeda and al-Nusra.
“But the greatest threat that we see and I think that our neighbors see as well is the threat that emanates from the imperial and theological ambitions of the Ayatollah regime in Iran.”
The nature of the Iranian threat extends beyond even Tehran’s nuclear program, he emphasized.
“They are seeking, as you know, to develop a capability to develop nuclear weapons,” he said, further noting that Iran is simultaneously deploying its terrorist proxies throughout the region to take control of a number of Arab states, as well as Hamas-ruled Gaza.
“They are engaged in a campaign of conquest and subversion throughout the Middle East, now in Yemen, around Israel’s borders in Lebanon, not very far from our border in the Golan, in Gaza,” Netanyahu said.
Turning to the looming June 30 deadline for a final deal between Iran and world powers over its nuclear program, Netanyahu once again urged the West to push for a “better deal” than the one laid out in the framework agreement reached back in April.
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