June 21st, 2009
10:08 AM ET
13 years ago

Netanyahu: Iran cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/21/art.bibi0621.gi.jpg caption="Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to the entire world."]
(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.

Filed under: Benjamin Netanyahu • Iran • Israel • President Obama
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Israel has enough nuclear capability to square off with anybody in the region and Netanyahu wants us to defend them?!?!?!

    What were the $100 billion dollars into Isreali Bonds for then, Bennie?!

    Ever imagine how interesting it would be if we armed the Palestinians, muzzle for muzzle, with the Israelis given the determination of the Palestinians?!

    June 21, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. Samuel

    What about Pakistan's nukes. That country is on the verge on being taken over by taliban.

    Even though we know that some of the top men in Pakistan's military are sympathetic to taliban, our smart President tripled aid to Pakistan, some of which have been used against India.

    With great applause they just released the terrorists responsible for the teror attacks in Mumbai, India last year that killed several foreigners including Americans and Israelis.

    June 21, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. CNN = Moveon.org

    I see all the muslim extremists are on the board today calling Israel and America evil. You are obviously in the minority, but go ahead and look silly with your idiotic comments.

    There is a reason why some nations are not allowed to have nuclear weapons, and that is because those countries have mad crazy minded people in leadership positions who spout off about going to war and destroying other nations. I have never heard America or Israel, or any other civilized country threaten to kill off a nation because they dislike them and their origins.

    So, PawPaw, go crawl back into your cave where you belong.

    June 21, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. Sean

    Hey Israel you dont want Iran to have nuclear weapons? Than get rid of yours!

    June 21, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. Yute!!

    Strip the racist Zionists of their cluster bombs to fund Healthcare!!!! ENOUGH OF THIS MADNESS FROM THE GREAT BEACON OF RACISM: ISREAL!!!!!

    June 21, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. The black spider

    Repeating what all other leaders agree on is not changing anything.
    No world leader even in the muslim middle east want iran to have a nuclear weapon and that is also the position of OBAMA.
    Nintayahoun solution to the problem is war as being advocated by the far right of Americans and Israelis. The world solution is through dialogue but also having the millitary position on the table.
    If what is happening in Iran right now is not a lesson for Nintayahoun to put watter in is war mongering rethoric then Israel doesn't want to leave in peace.

    June 21, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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