(CNN) - Israel and most of the world want regime change in Iran, but the main objective is to prevent the current Iranian leadership from developing a nuclear weapon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Appearing on the NBC news show "Meet The Press," Netanyahu said a nuclear-armed Iran would destabilize the Middle East and threaten the entire world by triggering an arms race and supplying catastrophic weapons to terrorists.
"The goal is to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said, adding that most governments in the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere agreed. "We all don't want to see this regime acquiring nuclear weapons.… It's not merely an interest of Israel."
U.S. President Barack Obama is as committed as his predecessor to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power, Netanyahu said.
"It's my view that there's an American commitment to make sure that doesn't happen," he said.
Pressed on whether Israel would launch a unilateral attack against Iranian nuclear facilities, as it has in the past, Netanyahu said Israel "always reserves the right to defend itself."
"We are threatened as no other people are threatened," he said.
Netanyahu said Iran's violent crackdown Saturday on demonstrations in Tehran showed how the Iranian regime differed from true democracies. He noted that demonstrators were protesting outside his office as he spoke, and that unlike Iran, Israel was letting it happen rather than attacking its own people.
"Democracies do things differently," Netanyahu said.