Netanyahu at AIPAC: Iran Wants a Military Nuclear Program (Prime Minister’s Office)
(Daily Alert, Mar.5, 2014)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the AIPAC policy conference in Washington on Tuesday:
American support for Israel is at an all-time high and there is no country on earth that is more pro-American than Israel.
We must prevent Iran from having the capability to produce nuclear weapons; not just to prevent them from having the weapon, but to prevent them from having the capacity to make the weapon. That means we must dismantle Iran’s heavy water reactor and its underground enrichment facilities. We must get rid of Iran’s centrifuges and its stockpiles of enriched uranium and we must insist that Iran fully divulge the military dimensions of its nuclear program.
17 countries have peaceful nuclear energy programs. They’re doing this without speeding centrifuges, without enriching uranium, without heavy water facilities and without conducting military nuclear research. Iran insists on doing all these things that the other countries don’t because Iran doesn’t want a peaceful nuclear program, Iran wants a military nuclear program.
The leading powers of the world are talking about leaving Iran with the capability to enrich uranium. That would be a grave error. It would leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power. It would enable Iran to rapidly develop nuclear weapons at a time when the world’s attention is focused elsewhere.
If we allow this outlaw terrorist state to enrich uranium, how could we seriously demand that any other country not enrich uranium? Letting Iran enrich uranium would open up the floodgates of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and around the world.
Of course we want diplomacy to succeed, because no country has a greater interest in the peaceful elimination of the Iranian nuclear threat. You know how you get that agreement with Iran? Not by relieving pressure but by adding pressure. Pressure is what brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place, and only more pressure will get them to abandon their nuclear weapons program.
Greater pressure on Iran will not make war more likely; it will make war less likely – because the greater the pressure on Iran and more credible the threat of force on Iran, the smaller the chance that force will ever have to be used.
I’m prepared to make a historic peace with our Palestinian neighbors – a peace that would end a century of conflict and bloodshed. Just as Israel is prepared to recognize a Palestinian state, the Palestinians must be prepared to recognize a Jewish state. President Abbas, recognize the Jewish state, and in doing so, you would be telling your people, the Palestinians, that while we might have a territorial dispute, the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own is beyond dispute. You would be finally making clear that you are truly prepared to end the conflict.
Experience has shown that foreign peacekeeping forces keep the peace only when there is peace. But when they’re subjected to repeated attacks, those forces eventually go home. So the only force that can be relied on to defend Israel is the force defending its own home – the Israeli Army.
(To see the whole speech, click on the article’s title…Ed.)