'Iran seeking to attack Israel with precision-guided missiles'

PM Netanyahu meets US Treasury Secretary, urges continued pressure on Iran.

Ben Ariel ,

Netanyahu and Mnuchin
Netanyahu and Mnuchin
Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday accused Iran of wanting to strike Israel with precision-guided missiles from Yemen.

Speaking during a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Jerusalem, Netanyahu called for "a lot more" sanctions against Iran.

“First, I want to congratulate President Trump, the Armed Forces of the United States and the American people for the successful action against [ISIS leader] Baghdadi, and it’s good that this murderer has met his fate,” Netanyahu said.

“We do know that we still have an ongoing battle against terrorism, both of the extremist Sunnis led by Daesh (the Arabic name for ISIS -ed.), but also the extremist Shiites led by Iran, that is making a plunge for everything and everywhere in the Middle East,” he added.

“Iran is seeking to develop now precision-guided munitions, missiles that can hit any target in the Middle East with a circumference of five to ten meters. They are developing this in Iran. They want to place them in Iraq and in Syria, and to convert Lebanon’s arsenal of 130,000 statistical rockets to precision-guided munitions. They seek also to develop that, and have already begun to put that in Yemen, with the goal of reaching Israel from there too,” warned the Prime Minister.

Israel views Iran “as the greatest threat to peace, stability and our security, and the security of many others,” he continued.

“They fired into Saudi Arabia. They’ve interfered with international shipping lanes. They’ve attacked Americans and they’ve killed Americans throughout the last ten years in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Iran is the single greatest threat to stability and peace in the Middle East. That doesn’t mean that there are no others. There are. We are, the Middle East is rich with several things, and one of them is terrorist-exporting nations and groups.”

“So while there’s a tremendous achievement yesterday in the action against the leader of Daesh, there still remains a massive effort against the other forces of terror, and the nation, the terror-state of Iran.”

“We have enjoyed great support from the United States in this effort twice. One, in the military assistance that the United States generously gives us. And second, in the effort that you and President Trump lead all the time, which is the increase of sanctions against Iran. You have recently added the anti-money laundering sanctions, which apply to the banks. That’s a very powerful tool, in addition to others that you put forward. And I encourage you to put even more. Iran’s capacity—we see this very clearly—to launch its aggression, to develop its weapons of death, to purvey its menacing ways: that capacity is diminished to the extent that you can tighten your sanctions and make their, the availability of cash more difficult for them. We see this in every part of the Middle East,” Netanyahu told Mnuchin.

“I want to thank you for what you’ve been doing, and encourage you, Steve, to do more, more, a lot more. And thank you for your friendship,” he concluded.

Mnuchin, meanwhile, said that Israel and the US "have a shared view as to the threat that Iran poses to the region and to the world."

"We will continue to ramp up more, more, more [sanctions], as you've said," he added.

Mnuchin also met on Monday with Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz, who thanked the US for the policy of imposing sanctions on Iran.

"This is the time to continue with maximum pressure on Iran. Continuing economic pressure on Iran is the only way to prevent military intervention," said Katz.



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