Following are excerpts from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s remarks Wednesday, 18 Kislev, at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference.
“There is only one regime today left that openly, unequivocally, brazenly calls for Israel’s destruction. Because that’s where they changed in the Arab world. Doesn’t mean that we can make peace treaties yet with the Arab world without some kind of movement with the Palestinians. Peace treaties no. Everything else below that, yes, and it’s happening. We still have challenges, how to convert this change, this revolutionary change that is enveloping the world and enveloping our region, how do we translate it into a formal peace between us and all our neighbors, Palestinians and others, and also how do we translate this into the votes that we want in international forums. We still have time for that. I want to commend Mexico, the President of Mexico, my friend, who told me a few weeks ago that Mexico is going to change its vote on 10 anti-Israeli resolutions in the upcoming General Assembly. The same we’ve been seeing from other countries, but it will take a decade, possibly a decade, as long as a decade to see that change happen in international forums.
These are two important challenges that we have as we expand our network of alliances. But, its progress is undeniable, except for Iran. Iran stands out by not merely threating us; Iran is threatening the entire world. And if Iran continues unabated, they will have a nuclear arsenal of 100 bombs and more. Within a decade they’ll have a capacity to enrich uranium on a vast scale and break not to one bomb but to 100 bombs. This has to be stopped. Not merely because Iran calls for the annihilation of Israel, but because Iran wants to conquer the entire Middle East and go even beyond that. It’s developing ICBMs to reach any point on earth. It is an aggressive regime, it exports terrorism, it fires missiles into Saudi Arabia, it is seeking a land bridge. This is what Iran is trying to do.
Iran is trying to build an empire – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon from Yemen to Gaza, ultimately, they want to conquer the Middle East. We will not let them establish themselves in Syria. We will not do it. We say what we mean, and we mean what we say and we do whatever is necessary to prevent that. But equally, I think this is not merely an Israeli interest. This is your interest.
So today I have one request for every diplomat in this conference. Immediately after my speech, please draft a cable to your country’s foreign minister, my counterpart, or to the president or to the prime minister, and ask them to apply more pressure on Iran, which can be done in many ways. I think you can highlight the plights of the jailed human rights activists in Evin Prison in Iran or speak out against Iran’s hanging of gay people, or advocate for the rights of Christians and Baha’is who are denied any semblance of rights in Iran, or levy new sanctions in light of Iran’s brazen violations of its international obligations, like their violation of the UN Security Council resolutions on missiles. Demand an end to Iran’s incitement to genocide, a clear violation of the Geneva Convention. Join our American friends in creating a better nuclear deal, one that does not guarantee Iran will have enough enriched uranium to produce 100 bombs or more within a decade.
But above all, if you want to support peace and security, you want to stop this regime, above all, before anything else, do what I do, support the Iranian people. I speak to them. I sent them yesterday another video. It’s passed the million mark, I think. And we get many, many responses from Iran. Above all, support those whom the Iranian regime fears most. Their own people. Help them.
Countering Iranian aggression will significantly aid the fight against Islamist terror, it will strengthen regional stability, it will keep us all safe, it will promote peace. 95% of the problems in the region emanate from Iran. Hezbollah wouldn’t last a day without the scaffolding provided by Iran. Hamas is dependent on Iran. The aggression you see throughout the region from the Bab el-Mandeb Straits across the region is Iran. Do this to ensure security, do this to protect the flames of liberty and the flames of progress. Delaying these actions will be a grievous error. Terrorists who are not confronted get bolder with time. And the appetite of expansion, Iran’s expansion, grows stronger with time.
A regime that openly calls for the annihilation of one democracy will not stop there. It will continue. We have to stop Iran now. I ask that you act now. If you’re not on the map, call me. If you are on the map, act against Iran.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)