Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes the Iranian regime is unpredictable and speaks with intent when describing the destruction of Israel, Channel 2 reported Sunday night. Netanyahu is said to have made comments about the regime and the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran at a recent closed-door meeting.

Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “is not a rational leader, just like the leader of North Korea. They are unpredictable,” the prime minister was quoted as saying. Channel 2 reporter Udi Segal added that Netanyahu was clarifying that when the Iranians speak about destroying Israel, they mean it – and they mean doing it with a nuclear weapon.

“In a war we can prevent 90 percent of hits on the home front through proper defense,” Netanyahu was reported as saying. But “it is impossible to defend against a nuclear weapon hit.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said publicly several times that confronting a nuclear-capable Iran would be a far more complex challenge than tackling a non-nuclear Iran.

The prime minister apparently tried to calm any concerns that his policy in Iran is anything but grounded in reality. “I am not messianic,” he reportedly said — a reference to the accusation leveled by former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin that Netanyahu and Barak are “messianistic” in their policy formulations.

Added the prime minister: “I would also prefer that the United States did the job.”

The Prime Minister’s Office responded to the report by saying that it does not comment on quotes from closed-door meetings.