Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ripped into the international community over what he called their “self-deception” on Iran. Israeli defense officials unveiled an arsenal of weapons the Islamic Republic was trying to smuggle into Gaza.
Israeli Defense Forces unloaded the cargo of the Panamanian-flagged ship that commandos intercepted last week off the coast of Sudan, displaying 40 M-302 missiles with a range in excess of 100 miles, 181 mortar shells and 400,000 AK-47 bullets. The AK-47 kills more civilians worldwide each year than any other manufactured weapon.
“The goal was to have rained down on the heads of Israel’s citizens,” Netanyahu screamed from the port of Eilat, where the Klos C was towed after being boarded in the Red Sea.
Netanyahu noted that the deadly assortment of rockets, mortars and other munitions could easily have reached Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and even Haifa. He railed against the international community for ignoring Iranian support of militant groups and being delusional regarding the recent and supposed willingness of Tehran to tame its nuclear weapons program.
“Iran, a brutal regime, has not abandoned its deep involvement in terrorism, its systematic efforts to undermine peace and security throughout the Middle East and its ambition to destroy the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “What is new is not Iran’s deeds or its lies, but the desire of many in the international community to bury their heads in the sand.”
“Just as Iran hid its deadly missiles in the belly of this ship, Iran is hiding its actions and its intentions in many of its key installations for developing nuclear weapons,” he added.
“My message today is simple: those engaged in self-deception must waken from their slumber, we cannot allow Iran to continue building nuclear weapons.”
The harsh yet realistic criticisms will no doubt further strain Benjamin Netanyahu’s already uneasy relationship with the weak European Union and, sadly, President Obama and his White House advisors.
Israel takes the position that Iran is still trying to build a nuclear weapon, and a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a grave threat to the existence of the Jewish state. For evidence, Israeli officials point to the incessant calls by Iranian leaders to irradiate Israel and facilitate its destruction. The development of long-range missiles and its support for hostile militant groups on Israel’s borders is evidence enough for those who do not have the luxury to make a very grave mistake.
Iran, of course, says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
Netanyahu, since its announcement, has been an outspoken critic of the efforts by six world powers to negotiate a deal with Iran they claim will scale back its nuclear program. In exchange for Iran’s cooperation, the U.S. and the West have pledged ending international sanctions, which had just begun to take effect.
Netanyahu says this interim deal gives Iran too much relief while getting little in return, and fears a final agreement would leave Iran with the capability to make a bomb.
As last Wednesday’s naval raid was announced, the IDF released video presentations illustrating the circuitous 5,000-mile route that it says the weapons had been meant to take, which began in Syria, then moved through to Iran and Iraq before heading toward Sudan and overland to Gaza. The video presentations were released with clips showing naval commandos discovering the rockets far out at sea.