PM: Hezbollah Cyprus Plot 'Another Wake-Up Call'

'No matter what deal is struck, we will not allow Iran to endanger the survival and the future of the State of Israel,' warns Netanyahu.

Gil Ronen ,

Steinmeier and Netanyahu shake hands
Steinmeier and Netanyahu shake hands
Marc Israel Sellem / Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the news of a Hezbollah plot in Cyprus is “yet another wake-up call” regarding the dangers posed by Iran.

He also stated that no matter what deal the world powers strike with Iran, Israel will not allow Iran to endanger its survival and future.

He spoke after meeting German Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Stenmeier, who stood beside him.

This is the text of Netanyahu's statement as regards Iran:

Frank, welcome back to Jerusalem. It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk and exchange views on our friendship and also on our common challenges.

We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. These are 50 years of friendship and cooperation that follows the darkest period in our history. That’s a reason for hope; it’s a reason for optimism, because over the last half century Germany has shown a genuine commitment to Israel's security. We’ve seen this most recently manifested in the provision of corvettes and submarines for the Israeli Navy. And Germany manifests this commitment in word and deed, and deed as well. And Israel deeply appreciates this commitment.

Foreign Minister,

We have spent not only this meeting but so many other meetings talking about what we perceive as the greatest threat to Israel’s security, to the stability of the region and to the peace of the world. And that is Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. But I have pointed out that Iran accompanies this campaign with another campaign – a campaign of aggression across the entire Middle East, in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, around our borders on the Golan.

Today, Iran is sponsoring terrorism across the globe beyond the Middle East, in the Middle East, but also in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas. Iran is building a vast infrastructure of terror.

The news of a Hezbollah plot in Cyprus is yet another wake-up call. There is no Hezbollah without Iran.

Today Iran is also conducting an unprecedented, I would say, conventional arms build-up. It’s developing a huge arms industry, which includes drones, rockets, precision guided missiles, submarines and satellites as well. Iran gives many of these weapons to its proxies across the region, including to Hamas in Gaza and to Hezbollah in Lebanon and on the Syrian side of the Golan, Hezbollah under Iranian generalship is building another northern front against Israel.

Iran of course conducts cyberattacks against the West, against Israel, against Saudi Arabia, against Europe.

This is what Iran is doing today without nuclear weapons. What a threat Iran will be when it has a clear path to the bomb. It may take them a decade if they don’t cheat before. But if you couple all of that, this deal would give Iran a horizon of having many nuclear bombs in a few years, and it will also fill Iran’s coffers with billions, tens of billions of dollars and possibly hundreds of billions of dollars down the line, with which to conduct this multifaceted campaign of aggression across our region, across the world.

We think there’s a need to hold out for a better deal, to use biting sanctions that have proved effective only three years ago when they were applied in 1012, before that, effective sanctions weren’t there.

One objective should be to block Iran’s path to the bomb, not to facilitate it, and the second would be to block Iran’s path to nuclear aggression, to tie the two. If you want to have a nuclear industry, make sure that you are not developing bombs, make sure that you are not gobbling up countries one after the other.

This is a source of great concern for us. I appreciate the fact that Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier hear us out repeatedly. I never tire of making these points, and you, for some reason, never tire of listening to it, which is a great achievement.

But these are real concerns. And remember that Iran said two or three days before the conclusion of the Lausanne Framework that the destruction of Israel is non-negotiable.

The survival of Israel is non-negotiable. No matter what deal is struck, we will not allow Iran to endanger the survival and the future of the State of Israel.