Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Monday visited Switzerland, emphasizing the importance of not allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.
In a statement given alongside the Swiss Confederation's President Ignazio Cassis, Herzog said, "The State of Israel shares with Switzerland this commitment to peace and fervently aspires to peace with all its neighbors, and of course with our Palestinian neighbors, our immediate neighbors."
"Unfortunately, the recent conflict with terrorists in Gaza, in which over one thousand missiles were fired at our towns, was imposed on us. We were forced to fight terrorist threats and to defend our people. I am glad that calm has returned to our cities, towns, and villages, and that our citizens have returned to their peaceful daily lives."
Herzog added, "At this opportunity, I want to thank everyone who played a role in the effort to secure calm. And special thanks go to Egypt and Qatar, which demonstrated the requisite leadership for regional stability. We hope and pray that our sons in Gaza will return home quickly, as I mentioned to you in our meeting."
"As you and I discussed, Mr. President, the Middle East is at a critical crossroads. While the Abraham Accords have created new avenues for transforming the region into a hub of stability, peace and prosperity — at the same time Iran and its proxies continue to spread terror and undermine moderate actors.
"I take this opportunity to call upon all governments, and of course the Swiss government, to oppose the Iranian nuclear program, in no uncertain terms. Iran has sworn itself to Israel’s destruction and is working tirelessly to destabilize our region and the entire world.
"We expect the family of nations to make this point crystal clear: the international community, and the nations that so proudly push for international peace, should not accept calls and efforts to eradicate a sovereign member state of the United Nations.
"Iran’s behavior cannot be met with silence. Iran’s activities cannot go unpunished. And most critically, such a state must not be allowed to possess nuclear capabilities. Iran must be denied such capabilities by all means necessary."
Herzog emphasized, "Switzerland, as a member of the United Nations and as an incoming member of the Security Council, a candidacy which Israel was happy to endorse, and as a member of the IAEA Board of Governors, is strategically positioned. The IAEA’s independence is critical. It should be strictly adhered to, including its ability to investigate violations of nuclear developments in Iran."
"Israel cannot accept a situation in which a member state of the United Nations calls for its annihilation. It's the only case in the world in which one country calls for the annihilation of another, and life goes on, as if nothing happened, in the worlds of morality and diplomacy, in parallel to negotiations with Iran for a deal that I have already heavily criticized in the past.
"The Iranian President's statement today is perfectly clear: it says, 'We don't respect the independence of the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate open cases,' which are major cases involving enriched uranium, located by IAEA inspectors.
"I call on the international community, including from here in Switzerland, a loyal member of the international order, international law, and the international community, to do everything to ensure the IAEA's independence and of course to deny Iran nuclear weapons."