Addressing his Likud Party faction just one week after his visit to the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say that it was the responsibility of Israel’s leadership to “eliminate” the threat posed by the Iranian government’s civilian nuclear program. “Who will eliminate it? It is us or no one.”
Netanyahu seemed pleased with the results of his US visit, dismissing US criticisms of his plan to expand settlements as “a disagreement between good friends,” and insisting that he had received pledges for several “key pieces” of military aid from the US.
Israel has been threatening to attack Iran over its nuclear program for years, and it was recently reported that CIA director Leon Panetta was dispatched to Israel in an effort to convince Netanyahu not to launch any surprise attacks on Iran.
Though the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly certified that the Iranian nuclear program has not diverted any of its enriched uranium to any covert purpose and the United States’ own National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) says Iran has no nuclear weapons program, Israel and US officials continue to accuse Iran of having such aspirations.