by News Agencies
Addressing Munich Security Conference, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presents Iranian drone fragment, says Israel will act against Iran itself, not just its proxies, if necessary
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a fragment of a
downed drone during his speech at the Munich Security
Conference, SundayPhoto: AP
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel would act against Iran if necessary, not just its proxies, reiterating that Tehran was the world's greatest threat and warning Iran that it should "not test Israel's resolve."
Netanyahu told world leaders, defense officials and diplomats at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday that the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers, designed to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions, had "unleashed a dangerous Iranian tiger in our region and beyond."
Netanyahu, a longtime critic of the nuclear deal, likened it to the infamous 1938 "Munich Agreement" that Western powers signed with Adolf Hitler in an attempt to stave off war in Europe.
"The concessions to Hitler only emboldened the Nazi regime," he said. "Rather than choosing a path that might have prevented war … those well-intentioned leaders made a wider war inevitable and far more costly," he said.
Declaring that Iran's "brazenness hit new highs," he held up a fragment of an Iranian drone shot down last week after it breached Israeli airspace and challenged Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to identify it. Zarif was in attendance and was scheduled to later address the conference.
"Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this?" Netanyahu said, waving the fragment. "You should, it's yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran – do not test Israel's resolve!"
Tehran has denied that the drone, which was launched into Israel from Syria last weekend, belonged to Iran.
Netanyahu told the audience that destroying the drone was a demonstration of Israel's resolve.
"Israel will not allow Iran's regime to put a noose of terror around our neck," he said. "We will act if necessary, not just against Iran's proxies that are attacking us but against Iran itself."
He said Iran was increasing its power as the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria regains territory from militants.
"The unfortunate thing is that as ISIS compresses and Iran moves in, it is trying to establish this continuous empire surrounding the Middle East from the south in Yemen but also trying to create a land bridge from Iran to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza," Netanyahu said.
"This is a very dangerous development for our region," he stressed.
Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.