Netanyahu to Bennett and Lapid: We Must Unite in the Face of Iranian Threat

Speaking at cabinet meeting, PM says Iran is using talks with six world powers to 'buy time', adds that Israel is not only threatened by nuclear Iran, but other lethal weapons that are 'piling up.'

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged Habayit Hayehudi chairman Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid to unite with him in the face of the Iranian threat to form a new coalition.

Netanyahu commenced the cabinet meeting on Sunday with a call to "unite the large forces" in Israel's government to form a new coalition, so as to repel the treats of a nuclear Iran and other lethal weapons that are "piling up" around Israel.

Netanyahu said talks between Iran and the six world powers - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, plus Germany - over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program only serve to grant Iran more time to achieve a nuclear weapon.

"My impression from these talks is that the only thing thatis gained from them is a buying of time, and through thistime-buying Iran intends to continue enriching nuclear materialfor an atomic bomb and is indeed getting closer to this goal," Netanyahu told his cabinet.

The prime minister added that on Friday, National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror will meet with U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, who heads up the U.S. team for nuclear talks with Iran. According to Netanyahu, the impression he got from a recent conversation with Sherman is that Iran is buying time and intends on continuing the enrichment of nuclear materials to create an atomic bomb.

"Iran is indeed continuing and is getting closer to that target," said Netanyahu. "I must say that, right now, our enemies are not only unifying in order to eventually achieve a nuclear weapon that will be pointed against us, but also stockpiling other lethal weapons around us. Therefore, we, too, must unite forces in order to repel these threats. Unfortunately, this is not happening," said Netanyahu.

Netanyahu made similar remarks last month, when President Shimon Peres officially tasked him with forming Israel's next government.

“We have many tasks to deal with The first task of the next government I form is to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons," Netanyahu stated. “I call on all sectors and parties to join me in a national unity government that is as broad as possible.

Both Bennett and Lapid publicly stated on Saturday that they agree on the conditions their parties have set for joining a Netanyahu-led coalition. Lapid made it clear he would not agree to sit in the same coalition as the ultra-Orthodox parties, while Bennet, for his part, said he would not join Netanyahu without Lapid.

Referring to the possibility that the ultra-Orthodox parties would be left out of the coalition, Lapid wrote on Facebook that "no harm would come if they don't sit in the next government."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Credit: AFP

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