Israel says military threat 'deters rogue regimes'
JERUSALEM - Agence France-Presse
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd R) sits between President Shimon Peres (R) and Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon during a memorial ceremony for Israeli soldiers killed in the 1973 Middle East War at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem September 15, 2013. REUTERS PhotoIsraeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said Monday that the US-Russian deal for Syria to destroy its chemical weapons, proved that a credible threat of force could bring about diplomatic solutions.
"The latest developments, in which a diplomatic solution is emerging for Syria to be disarmed of chemical weapons, demands determined action and will be judged over time according to results," a statement from his office quoted Yaalon as saying in an address to defence ministry staff. "But it is proof to the countries of the free world that a significant and credible military threat, as applied at the beginning of the crisis, deters dangerous rogue regimes and is able to advance a diplomatic solution to disarming countries of weapons of mass destruction."
"In other words, he who seeks peace must prepare for war." Under terms of the breakthrough deal struck in Geneva on Saturday between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has a week to hand over details of the quantity and location of all the chemical agents in its possession Kerry paid a whirlwind visit to Jerusalem on Sunday for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and warned Syria that it was not off the hook yet.
"The threat of force remains, the threat is real," Kerry said at a joint news conference with the Israeli prime minister.
Netanyahu said stripping Syria of its chemical stockpile would make the region "a lot safer", although he was quick to draw parallels with the threat posed by a nuclear Iran.
"The world needs to ensure that radical regimes don't have weapons of mass destruction because, as we've learned once again in Syria, if rogue regimes have weapons of mass destruction they will use them," he said.
"What is true of... Syria is true of Iran." Yaalon too said that Iran's nuclear ambitions should be addressed, as well as the Syrian issue.
"In parallel, from our point of view, the world must display clear and uncompromising determination toward the extremist regime in Tehran and its advancing programme to develop a military nuclear weapon," he said.