Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini on Wednesday, for discussions over peace talks and the situation in the Middle East.
"This is the first meeting we’ve had since I formed the new government," Netanyahu began. "And I take this opportunity to reiterate Israel's commitment to peace, and my commitment to peace."
"Over the last few weeks, we’ve taken some concrete tangible steps to benefit the Palestinian population," he continued. "We’ve taken economic steps, added measures for reconstruction and development and ensuring ongoing humanitarian support. We’ll continue with those practical steps, but at the same time we will continue to work towards peace."
"Israel wants peace," he emphasized. "I want peace. We want a peace that would end the conflict once and for all. My position has not changed."
Netanyahu then stated that he supports a two-state solution, i.e. the creation of a Palestinian state.
"I don’t support a one state solution – I don't believe that’s a solution at all," he said. "I support the vision of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state, and I look forward to discussing with you how we can advance that vision forth in a practical, secure and responsible way. I know that you share our goal and we see you as a friend who can help advance it."
He then shifted focus to Iran.
"But if I look around at our region and the world, the most dangerous enemy of peace is Iran," Netanyahu stated. "Iran is arming and training Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Iran is opening a third terror front against Israel in the Golan and it is pursuing its nuclear program, which I believe poses the greatest threat to the region and to the world."
"I’m afraid the Lausanne program will not block Iran's path to the bomb," he continued. "Iran's emerging deal with the world powers facilitates and legitimizes Iran's continued development of the capabilities of forming nuclear weapons."
"And by prematurely easing sanctions, the deal will give Iran many billions of dollars with which to fund its aggression and its worldwide terror campaign."
"Because of Lausanne, the sanctions are already eroding," he added. "In recent weeks, Airbus aircraft have been sold to Iran in direct violation of the sanctions."
"If pressure is being lifted today, what leverage will remain to ensure that Iran complies tomorrow when there is no pressure when the sanctions are removed?," he said. "And the answer, the honest answer is: nothing. Nothing will be left to ensure that Iran complies with the deal or that Iran ceases its aggression and its terror."
"If we want to know what will happen with Iran as a result of this deal, just look at what happened with North Korea as a result of that deal," he noted. "Despite the inspections and the despite the commitments, North Korea became a nuclear power."
"Just this week, North Korea announced that it has succeeded in miniaturizing a nuclear weapon," he elaborated. "I think the international community is about to make the same mistake with Iran as it did with North Korea. And I’m afraid Lausanne does exactly that."
"The peace and security of the region and the world demand that we insist on a better deal," he concluded. "And it’s not too late to do so."
Netanyahu concluded with a message of hope.
"These are formidable challenges," he said. "They’ve never deterred us."
"We know that Europe has undergone great challenges, great transformations in the previous century, and has shown great results from this and great abilities to overcome travail and create a better future for all its people – a future and a presence of peace and security and prosperity," he continued. "And that’s what I hope that we can discuss and work together to achieve. Peace, security and prosperity for all our people, for all our neighbors."
"The efforts of the international community concerning Iran are intended to achieve greater security and ensure that Iran does not possess nuclear weapons," Mogherini responded. "I welcome your commitment to peace. The European Union is interested in peace and security and therefore ready to help resumption of negotiations."