Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, speaking at the annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, on Sunday warned that a nuclear Iran will threaten not only Israel but the entire world, and argued that sanctions alone are not enough to stop the Islamic Republic’s threat.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s warnings on the Iranian nuclear threat make him the “Churchill of our times,” said Steinitz, who recalled that many world leaders ignored British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s warnings about German rearmament prior to World War II. Steinitz said Israel’s situation now is similar in important ways to that of Britain before World War II, “despite all the differences.”
Steinitz also touched on reports that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against opposition forces, saying that Israel would “do its utmost to prevent delivery” of such weapons to “terrorists and Hezbollah.” He added that Israel is not encouraging the U.S. to attack Syria and is not making “any linkage or comparison” between Syria and the Iranian nuclear challenge.
“It is up to the U.S. to decide its policy on Syria,” Steinitz told the audience.
Former Israel Defense Forces intelligence chief Amos Yadlin also focused on the Iranian threat at the Jerusalem Post Conference. According to Yadlin, more time must be given to diplomacy and sanctions, which he said were only implemented for the first time correctly in 2012. Yadlin added that Israel could deal with the consequences of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities if need be.