Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu welcomed the recent U.S.-Russia deal and stressed his belief that it would have deep repercussions on Iran, Syria’s close ally.
“The world needs to ensure that radical regimes don’t have weapons of mass destruction because as we have learned in Syria, if rogue regimes have weapons of mass destruction they will use them,” Netanyahu said.
“The determination the international community shows regarding Syria will have a direct impact on the Syrian regime’s patron Iran. Iran must understand the consequences of its continued defiance of the international community by its pursuit toward nuclear weapons,” he added.
He said the deal proved that “if diplomacy has any chance to work, it must be coupled with a credible military threat.”
However, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that on Sept. 11, John Kerry spoke to Netanyahu, who said he believed Russia wasn’t bluffing and that a deal was possible, according to American and Middle Eastern officials briefed on the exchange. Israel shared U.S. concerns that strikes could strengthen rebels linked with al Qaeda and allow them to seize Mr. Assad’s weapons.
With a nod toward these Israeli concerns, Kerry stressed that the deal with Russia was merely a “framework,” and much would depend on Syria.
“The threat of force is real and the Assad regime and all those taking part need to understand that President Obama and the United States are committed to achieve this goal,” Kerry said.
He also said the agreement, if successful, “will have set a marker for the standard of behavior with respect to Iran and with respect to North Korea and any rogue state, (or) group that tries to reach for these kind of weapons.” Read more at Israel Hayom.