FM Lapid spoke at a press conference at the State Dept. on Wednesday held by US Secretary of State Tony Blinken and also attended by the UAE FM.

"Two weeks ago in Bahrain I met a King in his palace, an Admiral on his ship and a Jew who cared for the only synagogue almost singlehandedly. They all said the same thing: No-one believed the things are happening here are possible. They were wrong.

"The things that are happening are happening because people believed. Because, today, there are leaders in the Middle East who believe we can change history together. In the past four months, Israel opened embassies and offices in the UAE, Morocco and Bahrain. We turned the 'cold peace' with Egypt and Jordan into a warm peace. We signed economic and civil agreements. And we greatly strengthened our relations with the European Union and with our neighbors in the Mediterranean.

"His Highness Sheikh Abdullah and I have become friends and partners. Our friendship is based on shared values. On moderation, On religious tolerance On the importance of fighting terror and radicalization. The partnership is based on economics, progress, and technological excellence. This partnership isn't just between Jews and Arabs. But between citizens of the world who want to be partners in the fight against climate change, Against poverty, Against the pandemic that has claimed millions of lives.

"President Kennedy said: 'All people are entitled to a decent way of life.' This includes of course the Palestinians. Our goal is to work with the Palestinian Authority to ensure that every child has that opportunity.

"At the center of my visit here is the concern about Iran's race to a nuclear capability. Iran is becoming a nuclear threshold state. Every day that passes, Every delay in the negotiations, Brings Iran closer to a nuclear bomb. The Iranians are clearly dragging their heels, Trying to cheat the world. To continue to enrich uranium, To develop their ballistic missile program.

"Secretary of State Blinken and I are sons of Holocaust survivors. We know there are moments when nations must use force to protect the world from evil. If a terror regime is going to acquire a nuclear weapon, we must act. We must make clear that the civilized world won't allow it. If the Iranians don't believe the world is serious about stopping them, They'll race to the bomb.

"Israel reserves the right to act at any given moment, in any way. That is not only our right, it is also our responsibility. Iran has publicly stated it wants to wipe us out. We have no intention of letting that happen. I don’t want to conclude with fears, but with hopes. We are writing a new chapter in our history. There is an alliance of moderates, Focused on life. Focused on hope. Focused on optimism. Focused on looking forward. I thank you both for this alliance, for your friendship, It is a source of hope for the whole world," he concluded.