PM likens Iran to Nazi Germany in its ‘commitment to murder Jews’

But, speaking to Saban Forum, Netanyahu says Israel will be ‘first in line’ to restore ties after Ayatollah Khamenei’s regime falls

Raphael Ahren is a former diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday compared Iran to Nazi Germany, pointing to Iran’s “commitment to murder Jews.” At the same time, Netanyahu said Israel would be the first country to re-establish ties with Iran once the regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei falls.

In a video broadcast to the Brookings Institute’s Saban Forum in Washington, Netanyahu referred to Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman calling Iran’s supreme leader the “new Hitler of the Middle East” who must be stopped.

“Obviously, there are some important differences between Nazi Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Netanyahu said. “But both regimes do have two important things in common. One, a ruthless commitment to impose tyranny and terror. And second, a ruthless commitment to murder Jews.”

There are some 20,000 Jews currently living in Iran.

Netanyahu went on to talk about a new book on World War II he is currently reading, which condemns the so-called appeasement policies of British politicians who believed Hitler was not the threat others made him out to be.

“Deception,” Netanyahu quoted the book’s author, Victor Davis Hanson, “is the mother’s milk of tyrannies.”

“I am sure many of you heard Iran’s silver-tongued foreign minister charmingly explain that Iran is a modern power. It harbors no hatred towards anyone. Right,” Netanyahu said sarcastically.

Addressing Mohammad Zarif directly, he said Zarif should tell this to journalists tortured and students shot in the streets of Iran, to “hundreds of thousands” killed by Iranian proxies in Syria, to Jews in Argentina whose loved ones were killed by Iranian-backed terrorists, and to Israelis who are “routinely condemned to annihilation by Iran’s fanatic leaders.”

“I spoke so often about Iran because I read history,” Netanyahu went on. “When tyrants call for the destruction of my people, I believe them. I don’t have the luxury of discounting their genocidal threats.”

The prime minister went on to state Israel’s policy not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and to entrench itself militarily in Syria. The 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, will allow Tehran to produce an arsenal of nuclear weapons within a decade, he said.

“President [US] Trump created an opportunity to fix the great flaws of the JCPOA. I urge you, in the policy community, to help decision-makers in the capitals of Europe and on Capitol Hill to take advantage of this opportunity,” he said.

“My friends, one day the Iranian regime will fall. Iranian mothers and fathers will rejoice in the streets. Israel will be the first in line to restore relations and rebuild our partnership,” he continued. “That’s just one reason why I am so hopeful about our future. Today Israel is more welcomed by the nations of the world than ever before. Our economy is booming. Our foreign relations are flourishing. Our army is more powerful than ever.”

He added: “When I look forward 50 or 100 years, I believe Israel will be embraced openly by its Arab neighbors rather than in secret, in the way it is done today.”

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