Netanyahu compares Iran to Nazi Germany at Saban Forum
ADRIAN DENNIS (AFP/File)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fiercely condemned Iran’s “commitment to murder Jews” on Sunday in a speech addressing the 2017 Saban Forum, likening the regime to Nazi Germany, whilst also criticizing a string of victims, who he describes as suffering at the hands of Tehran.
Citing the crown prince of Saudi Arabia’s reference to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei as “the new Hitler of the Middle Middle East”, Netanyahu said in a video message to the Saban forum in Washington DC on Sunday that both Iran and Nazi Germany share in common, “a ruthless commitment to impose tyranny and terror” as well as “a ruthless commitment to murder Jews.”
“When tyrants call for the destruction of my people, I believe them. I don’t have the luxury of discounting their genocidal threats,” Netanyahu continued in his address to the 14th forum of its kind, hosted by the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.
On Saturday, a short excerpt of the Prime Minister’s speech was pre-released following a clash that occurred when an Israeli aircraft was reported to have fired missiles at an Iranian military base just south of the Syrian capital of Damascus near the city of Al-Kiswa, allegedly killing 12 Iranian military personnel.
Netanyahu, twice proclaimed, “we will not allow a regime hellbent on the annihilation of the Jewish state to acquire nuclear weapons.” Reiterating Israel’s policy, he said, “we will not allow that regime to entrench itself militarily in Syria, as it seeks to do, for the purpose of eradicating our state.”
Sarcastically rebuking the Iranian foreign minister’s “charming” explanation that “Iran is a moderate power and harbors no hatred towards enemy”, Netanyahu then went on to list a string of human rights abuses committed by the regime.
“Tell that to the journalist tortured in Evin prison...tell that to the hundreds of thousands dead Syrians killed by Iran’s proxies...tell that to Americans whose flag is stamped on and whose country is called the Great Satan in the heart of Tehran…” he deplored, alongside referencing a host of other “victims” of Iranian abuse.
Despite throwing a barrage of criticism Iran’s way, he did however temper his comments and stated that “when the Iranian regime falls, Israel will be first in line to restore relations and rebuild our great partnership.”
Further, reiterating his hopes for a future positive relations with Arab states he said, “when I look forward to 50 or 100 years, I believe Israel will be embraced openly by its Arab neighbors rather than in secret like it is today.”
This comes amid growing rumors between a covert relationship developing between Israel and Saudi Arabia, united by their mutual hatred for Iran. Saudi Arabia, however, denies these claims.
The final words of Netanyahu's speech were spent on lauding the US-Israel partnership, urging the international community to capitalize on the “opportunity” created by President Trump to “fix the flaws” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. Warning that, in its current form, the “JCPOA will leave Iran able to produce the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal in about a decade.”
The Saban Forum is an annual conference that provides a platform for dialogue between American and Israeli leaders, this year’s event was entitled “‘America First’ and the Middle East.”
Other speakers included former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, the new leader of the Labour Avi Gabbay as well as President Trump’s senior advisor Kushner and a host of American congressmen.
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