Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says newly leaked U.S. diplomatic memos about the Saudi king offer clear proof that the Arab world agrees with his country's assessment that Iran is the chief danger to the Middle East.
According to the documents released Sunday by online whistle-blower WikiLeaks, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program. The king is just one of many Arab voices in the documents calling for tough action against Iran - proof that Israel is not alone in its belief that Tehran is a growing menace to the region, Netanyahu said.
"The greatest threat to world peace stems from the arming of the regime in Iran," Netanyahu told a news conference yesterday. "More and more states, governments and leaders in the Middle East and in far reaches of the world understand this is a fundamental threat."
But for Israel, the outcome is positive, Netanyahu said. For years he has warned of the dangers the Iranian nuclear program poses to the entire region. These warnings had been vindicated, Netanyahu said.
"Our region has been hostage to a narrative that is the result of 60 years of propaganda, which paints Israel as the greatest threat," Netanyahu said.
"In reality leaders understand that that view is bankrupt. For the first time in history there is agreement that Iran is the threat," he added.
"If leaders start saying openly what they have long been saying behind closed doors, we can make a real breakthrough on the road to peace."
Netanyahu added that Israel had worked in advance to limit any damage from leaks.
"Every Israeli leader has known for years that that dispatches are likely to leak out, so we adapted ourselves to the reality of leaks," he said. "That has a bearing on who I invite to meetings. No classified Israeli material was exposed by WikiLeaks."
Meanwhile, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the latest U.S. documents on WikiLeaks are proof of the transparency of the Palestinian Authority.
The papers said Israel tried to coordinate with the PA regarding its Gaza offensive in the winter of 2008-09, telling the Palestinians to be ready to take over the enclave. The PA rejected the offer, said the documents.
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