Photo Credit: Koby Gideon/GPO
PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Swearing-in Ceremony for the New Director of the Mossad.

If faced with the difficult situation of having to choose between an Iran armed with nuclear weapons or a diplomatic clash with Washington following an attack on Iran, Israel would choose the latter, Prime MiIsrael’s “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, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unexpectedly declared on Tuesday.

This is a threat against the continuation of the Zionist enterprise and we must fight this threat relentlessly,” Netanyahu stated Tuesday at the swearing-in ceremony for the new Director of the Mossad David Barnea.

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“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.’ Iran is different from the other countries that have nuclear weapons today; therefore, containment is not an option,” he underscored.

“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,” he declared.

Jerusalem is fearful of the new nuclear agreement that is taking shape between the Biden administration and Iran, which Israel believes will ultimately enable Iran to build nuclear weapons.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz took issue with Netanyahu’s “provocative statements.”

He stated that while “Iran poses a threat to regional security and global peace. It supports terrorism and is pursuing nuclear plans that pose an immediate threat to the State of Israel. Nonetheless, the US has been and will continue to be Israel’s most important ally, protecting Israel’s security and safeguarding its qualitative edge in the region.”

“The Biden Administration is a true friend of Israel, and Israel doesn’t have and will never have a greater partner than the United States. Even if differences arise, they will be resolved through direct dialogue, behind closed doors, not through provocative statements that serve to harm Israeli security,” he charged.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.