Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi (R) speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) during their meeting at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy .

This weekend Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told his counterpart, Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi, that he has no objection to a “civilian nuclear program” in for Iran but worries about a military nuclear program.

The two men met Saturday night to discuss how Israel and Italy can further expand cooperation in technology, agriculture, culture and science. Also discussed were way to cooperate “in fighting terrorism, in security and stability for our world.”

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“Civilization today is under threat from militant Islam. The savagery of the Islamic State of ISIS captures the world’s attention, and justifiably so,” Netanyahu noted.

“But I believe that a far more serious threat is posed by another Islamic state, the Islamic State of Iran, and specifically its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

“Israel doesn’t oppose a civilian nuclear program in Iran. We oppose a military nuclear program in Iran. And regrettably, the deal with Iran allows it to keep and expand a formidable nuclear infrastructure that is completely unnecessary for civilian nuclear purposes, but is entirely necessary for the production of nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.

“The deal will give Iran within 13 years the ability to make as many centrifuges as they want, enrich as much uranium as they want to whatever level that they want. And this will put the Iranian Islamic state that practices terrorism worldwide, it will put it on the threshold of an entire nuclear arsenal.

“But well before that, Iran will get hundreds of billions of dollars of sanctions relief and investments to fuel its aggression and terrorism in the Middle East, in North Africa and beyond that. I think that this will make Iran far richer and far stronger militarily, and it will make it far more difficult to confront its nuclear ambitions in the future,” Netanyahu explained.

At present, Netanyahu pointed out, Italy and all of Europe faces a wave of increasing illegal immigration. “Thousands upon thousands flee the horrors of militant Islamic terrorism in Libya, across the Middle East and in Africa. This is a great tragedy and a great challenge.

“We both want to see greater security in the Mediterranean region and beyond. We are committed to building a better world where our children can enjoy peace and prosperity.

“I believe this is what the people of Israel and the people of Italy expect from us both,” Netanyahu said.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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