Prime Minister Netanyahu's Remarks at the Joint Statement with French President Emmanuel Macron (Excerpts)

June 5, 2018

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks at the joint statement with French President Emmanuel Macron, in Paris:

"Thank you President Macron, Emmanuel, for your warm hospitality. I find our repeated conversations, including this most recent one, have been very useful, very productive. 

We obviously can't discuss everything that we discussed privately in public but I think these exchanges are very important to advance security, stability and prosperity in our region and obviously to help both our countries advance towards the future in areas such as technology, and science and culture.


So in addition to fighting terrorism through intelligence cooperation, Israel is also fighting this battle in the Middle East by fighting Daesh in the Middle East but also by fighting Iran.

The greatest threat to the world today in my view is nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical Islamic regime like Tehran. The nuclear archive that we uncovered recently proved that Iran lied to the world about its nuclear weapons program and I believe now is the time to apply maximum pressure on Iran to make sure that their nuclear program doesn’t go anywhere.

I want to make it clear that I did not ask President Macron to leave the deal. I think that economic realities are going to decide this matter so it's not what we focused on actually. What we focused on is, and what I focused on, is to stop Iranian aggression in the region. Specifically, Israel's goal, which I think should be shared by all those who seek peace and prosperity and stability in the Middle East – a reconstructed Syria which you seek… I think that the precursor to that, the precondition to that is that Iran leaves Syria - all of Syria. It has no business being there. And we must block Iran's plans to transport its army and its weapons, sophisticated and deadly weapons to Syria, from which they seek to attack Israel.

The ruler of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said two days ago that their goal is to eradicate Israel and for this purpose they want to pursue nuclear weapons but also pursue other weapons, bring them close to Israel so they can fire at our cities and our citizens. We will not accept this. I want to say that this position I believe is common right now across the Middle East but not only for us Israelis but for many many of the Arab countries, who are themselves threatened by Iranian aggression. The simplest thing, the most direct thing and the most necessary thing that we need to concentrate on now is to get Iran out of Syria.