The biggest threat to the world today is nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical Islamic regime like Iran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday evening after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, where the two discussed Tehran’s nuclear program as well as challenges posed to Israel by Tehran’s military presence in Syria.
In a press briefing following the meeting, Netanyahu told reporters that “now is the time to apply maximum pressure on Iran to make sure its nuclear program does not go anywhere,” but clarified that he had not asked Macron that France back out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal.
“I want to make it clear that I did not ask President Macron to leave the deal. I think that economic realities are going to decide this matter. So that’s not what we focussed on. What I focused on is to stop Iranian aggression in the region,” Netanyahu said.
“Israel’s goal, which I think should be shared by all those who seek peace, prosperity and stability in the Middle East is a reconstructed Syria and the precursor to that is that Iran leaves Syria. All of Syria. it has no business being there,” he added
Netanyahu then turned to Gaza, countering the French president’s criticism of the move of the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May, which he said had “caused loss of life” and did “not help the peace process.”
Netanyahu said events on the Gaza border were not “peaceful protests, but violent riots” organized and paid for by Hamas.
“They want to kidnap Israelis, they want to murder Israelis” the prime minister told Macron. “They seek to storm into Israel, capture civilians and soldiers right next to the (border) fence,” he added, noting that Hamas itself had said that on the worst day of violence where 62 people were killed, over 50 belonged to the terrorist organization.
“So this is not what it appears, and it is something that we have the right to defend ourselves against,” he continued.
“Just imagine that you had the equivalent of 20 million people who said they want to storm into France, and said ‘we want to burn Paris down and when we cross the border into France we will kill any French citizen that we can get our hands on’ then obviously you would act in every way possible to prevent this from happening.” the prime minister said.
Netanyahu is in Paris as part of a three-day European tour aimed at persuading Germany, France, and the United Kingdom to agree to tougher measures against Tehran. He met Monday in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and following his meeting with Macron will head for a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
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This article was written by Yona Schnitzer of TPS. Photo Credit: Getty Images