Netanyahu Urges Envoys to Get Tough With Iran

Opposition chairman and Likud leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu urged the international community yesterday to make every effort, including diplomatic and financial pressure, to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

The bigger the stick, Netanyahu told dozens of foreign diplomats in Tel Aviv, the lesser the chance that it will need to be used.

Netanyahu also presented the diplomats with a plan to have Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tried at the International Court of Justice for incitement to genocide. The plan was initiated by MK Danny Naveh (Likud) and Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations. Well-known American lawyer Alan Dershowitz and former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler participated in formulating the legal basis for trying Ahmadinejad.

Netanyahu compared Ahmadinejad to Adolf Hitler, saying the Iranian president wants to establish an Islamic reich.

The difference between Iran today and Germany in the 1930s, the Likud leader said, is that Hitler began a world conflict and then strove to acquire nuclear weapons, whereas Ahmadinejad is trying to acquire nuclear weapons before initiating the conflict. Such a situation is dangerous for Israel as well as for other countries around the world, and should worry all of humanity, Netanyahu said.

Responding to Mossad chief Meir Dagan's comment that Iran would be able to produce nuclear weapons only in 2009 or 2010, Netanyahu said that this is a warning sign, not an indication that efforts to stop Iran can wait. The world, he said, has three years - 1,000 days - in which to stop Iran.

The diplomats who attended the event included the ambassadors of France, Italy and the Czech Republic, and the deputy American and Egyptian ambassadors.