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Netanyahu to Biden: We’ll fight Iran relentlessly with, without nuke deal


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz clashed on Tuesday in their messages about US-Iran issues.

“Our greatest threat is the existential threat posed by Iran’s efforts to arm itself with nuclear weapons, whether to threaten us directly – with atomic weapons – with the destruction of a small state, or to threaten us with tens of thousands of missiles or a great many missiles backed by a nuclear umbrella,” Netanyahu said at a ceremony celebrating new Mossad Director David Barnea. “This is a threat against the continuation of the Zionist enterprise and we must fight this threat relentlessly.”

Turning toward the Mossad agents seated before him, he said, “All of you do this. We spoke yesterday about the actions that have been taken and these actions must continue. I have said these things to my friend of 40 years, Joe Biden, and I told him: ‘With or without an agreement, we will continue to do everything in our power to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons.’”

Following Netanyahu’s pushback against US policy of seeking to return to the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal, Gantz said that differences should be resolved quietly and without unnecessarily “defiant rhetoric.”

“The US was and will continue to be Israel’s most important ally for maintaining security and its qualitative military superiority in the region,” the defense minister said. “The Biden administration is a true friend and Israel has and will have no better partner than the US. Even if there are disagreements, they must be solved behind closed doors and not with defiant rhetoric that could harm Israel’s security.”

Netanyahu’s comments come as the US meets with other world powers and Iran in a fifth round of nuclear negotiations in Vienna.

“Iran is different from the other countries that have nuclear weapons today, therefore containment is not an option,” said the prime minister. “If we need to choose – and I hope it will not happen – between friction with our great friend, the US, and getting rid of an existential threat, getting rid of an existential threat will prevail.”

Read More: Jerusalem Post