“I want to make it clear that I did not ask President Macron to leave the deal. I think that economic realities are going to decide this matter,” Netanyahu said.
By: Yona Schnitzer/TPS
The biggest threat to the world today is nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical Islamic regime like Iran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday evening after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
The two leaders discussed Iran’s nuclear program as well as challenges posed to Israel by the Islamic Republic’s military presence in Syria.
In a press briefing following the meeting, Netanyahu told reporters that “now is the time to apply maximum pressure on Iran to make sure its nuclear program does not go anywhere,” although he clarified that he did not urge Macron to back out of the nuclear deal.
“I want to make it clear that I did not ask President Macron to leave the deal. I think that economic realities are going to decide this matter. So that’s not what we focussed on. What I focused on is to stop Iranian aggression in the region,” Netanyahu said.
“Israel’s goal, which I think should be shared by all those who seek peace, prosperity and stability in the Middle East, is a reconstructed Syria, and the precursor to that is that Iran leaves Syria. All of Syria. it has no business being there,” he stated
Netanyahu then turned to Gaza, countering the French president’s criticism of the US Embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May, which Macron claimed had “caused loss of life” and did “not help the peace process.”
Netanyahu said events on the Gaza border were not “peaceful protests, but violent riots” organized and paid for by the Hamas terror group, which rules the Strip.
“They want to kidnap Israelis, they want to murder Israelis” he told Macron.
“They seek to storm into Israel, capture civilians and soldiers right next to the (border) fence,” Netanyahu added, noting that Hamas itself had confirmed that on the worst day of violence, when 62 protesters were killed, over 50 belonged to the terrorist organization.
“So this is not what it appears, and it is something that we have the right to defend ourselves against,” he continued.
“Just imagine that you had the equivalent of 20 million people who said they want to storm into France, and said ‘we want to burn Paris down and when we cross the border into France we will kill any French citizen that we can get our hands on,’ then obviously you would act in every way possible to prevent this from happening.” the Israeli leader said.
Netanyahu is in Paris as part of a three-day European tour aimed at persuading Germany, France, and the United Kingdom to agree to tougher measures against Tehran. He met Monday in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and following his meeting with Macron will head for talks in London with British Prime Minister Theresa May.