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ISRAELI LEADERS:[+ / -]

Benjamin Netanyahu
(Prime Minister)

"Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons. Many of the restrictions that were supposed to prevent it from getting there will be lifted."
The Washington Post - July 2015
[Related: Exporting Terrorism]

"We've been witnessing over the last two years, an Iranian-sponsored global campaign, along with its sidekick, Hezbollah, to launch terror attacks ... I think it's important for the entire international community to stop this wave of terror ... Just imagine what the consequence would be if these people and if this regime got a hold of nuclear weapons. I think the most important message that I could give is stop-- expose the terrorists, stop the terrorists, and make sure that the world's most dangerous regime doesn't get the world's most dangerous weapons."
CBS "Face the Nation" - July 2012
[Related: Exporting Terrorism]

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"President Obama said Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, that he said that containment is not an option, and that Israel must have the capacity to defend itself, by itself against any threat. Well, these are obviously principles that I agree with and I think that the - it's in our common interest to make sure that Iran doesn't get nuclear weapons."
Fox News Sunday - July 2012
[Related: Iran Nuclear Program; Sanctions; Military Option]

"The Iranian nuclear program has not slowed down by one millimeter. Despite all the pressures that were applied to it. Nothing. We certainly would prefer that all these economic sanctions produce a result ... [Sanctions] doesn't stop their nuclear program in any way. It actually allows them to continue their nuclear program ... There should be three clear demands: One, stop all enrichment high and low. Second, remove all material that has been enriched from Iran. Third, dismantle, the underground nuclear bunker in Qom."
Bild (Germany) - June 2012
[Related: Sanctions]

"For nearly a decade, the international community has tried to stop the Iranian nuclear program with diplomacy. That hasn't worked. Iran uses diplomatic negotiations as a means to buy time to advance its nuclear program ... There is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs. That's by placing a clear red line on Iran's nuclear weapons program. Red lines don't lead to war; red lines prevent war. In fact, it's the failure to place red lines that has often invited aggression."
Speech to UN General Assembly - September 2012
[Related: Sanctions; Red Lines; Military Option]

"Our over-arching goal is to stop the nuclearization of Iran. This mission is becoming more complex because Iran is obtaining more advanced centrifuges that shorten the enrichment time. We must not accept this with resignation ... The paramount mission of the next government that I form will be to stop Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons."
Speech on Election Victory - February 2013
[Related: Iran Nuclear Threat]

"The external challenges that [Israel] face begin with Iran ... It's nuclear weapons program continues unabated ... What they're doing is to shorten the time that it will take them to cross that [red] line ... Iran is putting itself in a position to cross the red line and have enough material to produce one nuclear bomb's worth of highly enriched uranium. This has to be stopped, for the interest of peace and security, for the interest of the entire world. How do you stop it? Well, you have to put greater pressure on them. You have to upgrade the sanctions. And they have to know that if the sanctions and diplomacy fails, they will face incredible military threat. That's essential. Nothing else will do the job."
Speech at Conference of Presidents - February 2013
[Related: Iran's Nuclear Program; International Diplomacy; Military Option]

"My view is that in order to stop Iran's nuclear programs peacefully, diplomacy and sanctions must be augmented by a clear and credible threat of military action ... Iran is a grave threat to Israel, a grave threat to the world - a nuclear Iran. The United States is committed to deal with it. Israel is committed to deal with it. We have different vulnerabilities, obviously, and different capabilities. We take that into account. But what we do maintain -- and the President I think is the first to do so -- is that Israel has a right to independently defend itself against any threat, including the Iranian threat."
Press Conference with President Obama - March 2013
[Related: Iran's Nuclear Program; International Diplomacy; Military Option]

"We cannot allow Iran to play this game. We cannot let Iran ride out the clock through endless talks. Iran must comply with UN Security Council resolutions. We cannot accept anything less than a total cessation of all enrichment of nuclear materials at all levels, the removal from Iran of all enriched nuclear material, and the closure of Iran's illicit nuclear facilities. And until Iran meets these demands, the pressure must be stepped up. The Iranian nuclear weapons program must be stopped, period."
Press Conference with Canadian FM John Baird - June 2013
[Related: Iran's Nuclear Program; International Diplomacy; Military Option]

"[Iran] hasn't yet reached [the red line] but they're getting closer to it. And they have to be stopped ... They have to stop their nuclear program. They have to stop all enrichment of nuclear material, to take out enriched uranium and shut down the illegal nuclear facility in Qom. These are the right demands and those should be backed up with ratcheted sanctions ... If sanctions don't work then they have to know that you'll be prepared to take military action ... As the Prime Minister of Israel, I'm determined to whatever is necessary to defend my country, the one and only Jewish state, from a regime that threatens us with renewed annihilation."
CBS Face the Nation - July 2013
[Related: Iran's Nuclear Program; International Diplomacy; Military Option]

"I know Rouhani does not sound like Ahmadinejad. But when it comes to Iran's nuclear weapons program, the only difference between them is this: Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf's clothing and Rouhani is a wolf in sheep's clothing a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community ... Iran is not building a peaceful nuclear program. Iran is developing nuclear weapons ... the only way to peacefully prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons is to combine tough sanctions with a credible military threat. And that policy is today bearing fruit ... Iran's fanaticism is not bluster. It's real. This fanatic regime must never be allowed to arm itself with nuclear weapons."
United Nations - October 2013
[Related: Iran's Nuclear Program; International Diplomacy; Military Option]


Ehud Barak
(Former Defense Minister)

"A nuclear Iran is a threat to the entire world order. It will lead to a nuclear arms race in the region; countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the new Egypt will not be able to fall behind. It will also start a stopwatch for the leakage of nuclear knowledge or technology, [with it eventually] finding its way into the hands of terror elements. With nuclear power, if it is achieved, Iranian hegemony will become a reality, leading to the intimidation of its neighbors, deepening Iran's involvement in both regional and global terror."
Speech at National Defense College - July 2012
[Related: Nuclear Proliferation; Iran's Hegemonic Ambitions]


Shimon Peres
(President)

"The greatest threat to world peace is the present leadership of Iran and its policies. The Iranian people are not our enemies, and no-one is threatening the existence of Iran. There is no reason in the world that Iran should have a leadership which threatens the existence of other countries, which promotes terrorism and which develops nuclear weapons."
US Independence Day Reception - July 2012
[Related: Iran Nuclear Program; Exporting Terrorism]

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"We see the way [the Iranian government] want[s] to construct an empire - by terror, by sending money, sending arms, hanging, bluffing. We cannot support it. The world cannot support a nuclear Iran ...I am not aware of anybody that threatens Iran, that wants to oppress Iran or govern Iran or reduce Iran, nothing whatsoever ... Who is against Iran? ... Clearly we are more sensitive than others because when nobody threatens Iran, Iran threatens us. We are the only country which is being threatened to be destroyed by them."
Brookings Institution - June 2012
[Related: Exporting Terrorism; Iran Nuclear Threat]

"The Iranian people are not our enemy but the policies of the Iranian government are hovering as a dark shadow over the world. The leaders of Iran say that religion forbids the building of nuclear weapons, but those acting in their name are building just such a weapon. The leaders of Iran deny the Holocaust and at the same time threaten a new Holocaust. There is no place for complacency. Indifference to horror is the greatest horror of all."
Meeting with German President Joachim Gauck - May 2012
[Related: Iran Nuclear Program; Military Option]

"My own impression is that the sanctions did more than was expected, but not yet enough to achieve the goal ... [Iran's nuclear program] should be stopped, preferably economically and politically but without any compromise. The goal must be achieved."
Press Conference with EU President Jose Barroso - March 2013
[Related: Iran's Nuclear Program; Diplomacy & Sanctions]


Benny Gantz
(IDF Chief of Staff)

"If Iran goes nuclear it will have negative dimensions for the world, for the region ... Either Iran takes its nuclear program to a civilian footing only or the world, perhaps we too, will have to do something. We're closer to the end of the discussions than the middle ... The military option is the last chronologically but the first in terms of its credibility. If it's not credible it has no meaning. We are preparing for it in a credible manner. That's my job, as a military man."
Haaretz - April 2012
[Related: Military Option; Threat Assessments]

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"Recently, we've heard threats from near and far enemies to 'wipe out' the State of Israel from the map of the Middle East. In all these, I can say that the IDF is ready for any scenario. We will reach any place, anytime, and defend this nation."
Jerusalem Post - September 2012
[Related: Military Option]


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