An Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities would spread a sense of relief throughout the Middle East, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told French weekly newspaper Paris Match.
Netanyahu, who arrived in Paris Wednesday for a two-day state visit, told the paper he would discuss with French President Francois Hollande “practical ways to intensify sanctions against Iran” in order to compel Tehran to abandon its nuclear program.
The paper reportedly quoted Netanyahu saying that while international strictures against Iran are damaging its economy, they haven’t slowed down its nuclear program in the slightest. The prime minister was said to have told the paper that Israel has acquired intelligence to that effect by covert means, and has shared it with Germany, France, Britain, and the United States.
Netanyahu said Tehran has accelerated its uranium enrichment in recent years for the purpose of acquiring nuclear weapons, and reiterated his stance that Israel reserves the right to defend itself.
He also reportedly said that should Israel strike Iran, it would not exacerbate tensions with other states in the region.
“Five minutes after [such a strike], contrary to what the skeptics say, I think a feeling of relief would spread across the region,” he told the paper in comments excerpted on Tuesday and to be published in full on Thursday.
“Iran is not popular in the Arab world, far from it, and some governments in the region, as well as their citizens, have understood that a nuclear-armed Iran would be dangerous for them, not just for Israel,” he said.
Source: Times Of Israel