PM Netanyahu at Menachem Begin Heritage Center event. (Kobi Gideon/GPO) (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
M Netanyahu at Menachem Begin Heritage Center event

“Israel’s policy has not changed since Begin. Israel will not allow regimes that seek our annihilation to acquire nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu stated. 

By: United with Israel Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday reiterated Israel’s policy of ensuring that no regime hostile to the Jewish State in the Middle East will acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Addressing Israeli and foreign ambassadors on Monday at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem during an event marking Israel’s 70th anniversary, Netanyahu stated that “Israel’s policy has not changed since Begin. Israel will not allow regimes that seek our annihilation to acquire nuclear weapons.”

The Begin Doctrine, formulated by former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, states that no Israeli adversary in the Middle East would be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.

In accordance with this doctrine, Israel, led by Begin, destroyed Iraq’s nuclear project in Osirak in 1981,and the Al-Kibar nuclear facility in Syria in 2007. Israel is now facing a looming threat from Iran.

“This is why we opposed so resolutely the Iran deal, because it gives Iran a clear path to a nuclear arsenal,” Netanyahu stated. “It allows, over a few years, unlimited enrichment of uranium, the core ingredient required to produce nuclear bombs—and nothing else.”

While Iran has claimed that its nuclear project is for peaceful uses only, its immensity and the facilities it incorporates suggest otherwise. Israel continues to view Iran as an existential threat, and Netanyahu has repeatedly called on US President Donald Trump and the other signatory states to “fix or nix ” the agreement.

In January, Trump set a 120-day deadline for US lawmakers and European allies to “fix” the nuclear deal or face a US exit.

The American president has said he will not renew US waivers for sanctions on Iran when they next expire on May 12 unless European countries agree to strengthen the deal significantly. He is also seeking tougher inspections and penalties for Iranian missile testing.

One of the main issues that critics of the deal are eager to address is the removal of several clauses that allow Iran to gradually resume weapons-grade nuclear development starting in 2024. Iran’s development of long-range missiles that can carry nuclear warheads is also a point of concern.

On this issue, Netanyahu said that the nuclear accord with Iran “does not deal with the ballistic missiles that can deliver this weapon to many, many countries. This is why this deal has to be either fully fixed or fully nixed.”

“I believe that Begin exemplified for us the commitment to defend Israel’s security at all costs,” Netanyahu underscored.

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