Herzog urges NATO to take ‘strongest possible stance’ against Iran
Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter
Standing alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, President Isaac Herzog says the Iranian threat is “now at Europe’s doorstep.”
“The radical Iranian regime is executing innocent citizens at home, launching attacks and undermining stability across the Middle East, spreading arms, death and terror in Europe, in Ukraine especially, and around the world, and continuing its belligerent pursuit of nuclear weapons on its quest for regional and world domination,” says Herzog.
Herzog says Israel expects the international community and NATO to take action to stop Iran: “With Iran tightening its hold on European soil, the illusion of distance can no longer hold. NATO must take the strongest possible stance against the Iranian regime, including through economic, legal, and political sanctions, and credible military deterrence.”
Turning to the fighting in Jenin, Herzog says that “a terrorist squad on its way to a terror attack in Israel was blocked and eradicated by Israeli military forces,” adding that the cell was affiliated with both Hamas and Islamic Jihad. “We will continue to act and prevent terror wherever it may be, with no compromises, ifs, or buts,” Herzog pledges.
The president does not mention Russia by name, but does lament “a terrible war continues to cause needless human suffering and compromise the well-being and welfare of millions.”
“Israel has been a partner in the aid efforts, and our hearts continue to go out to the people of Ukraine, as they defend their homes and their country,” says Herzog.
Stoltenberg also condemns Iran, pointing out the fact that Tehran “is delivering support to Russia, including drones that are used to attack civilian infrastructure, homes and hospitals in Ukraine.”
“In return, Russia is stepping up its support of Iran,” says Stoltenberg. “As we see growing cooperation among authoritarian states, it is more important than ever to stand up for freedom and democracy,” concludes the secretary-general.