Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Wednesday that Israel would defend itself against Iran, calling an emerging nuclear pact “a mistake that will cost dearly.”
Speaking at the Knesset during a discussion devoted to the victory of the Allied forces in World War II 70 years ago, Netanyahu said world powers should learn a lesson from the rise of Nazi Germany and not go ahead with an agreement that would allow Tehran to continue enriching uranium and lift sanctions.
“The lesson of history is never to make concessions to a radical regime which waves the banner of genocide and expansionism,” he said. “This morning a senior Iranian official is quoted as saying Iran has divine permission to exterminate Israel. Those conducting the negotiations with Iran hear this and continue talks as usual.”
The statement was an apparent reference to the 1938 Munich accords, by which world powers allowed Adolf Hitler to carve up Czechoslovakia in the hopes of appeasing the Nazi leader — a comparison made before by Israeli officials.
Netanyahu cited Iran’s “tentacles of terror across the Middle East” and its burgeoning nuclear program, which is suspected of being for military purposes, saying Israel was obligated “to determinedly defend our sovereignty and security.”
“In parallel, we will not ease up on the effort to warn world powers that a compromising agreement with Iran will turn out to be a mistake that will cost dearly. In any case, Israel will defend itself, by itself, from any threat,” he said.
Speaking as veteran Jewish soldiers, some decorated with medals, sat as guests in the Knesset, the prime minister addressed the role Jewish fighters had in defeating the Nazi regime 70 years ago.
“Every child in Israel learns the story of Yosef Trumpeldor, but those who delve into the role of Jewish fighters in the campaign to defeat Nazi Germany discover that there were hundreds of thousands of additional heroes from the ranks of our nation,” he said.
“It is thanks to you that the free world survived and the Jewish people were spared extinction,” he said.