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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to publicly set the table for a military strike on Iran Monday evening when he told a crowd of pro-Israel supporters that diplomacy and economic sanctions have categorically failed to prevent Iran’s march towards nuclear weapons.
“We’ve waited for sanctions to work. None of us can afford to wait much longer,” Netanyahu said in a speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference. “As Prime Minister of Israel I will never let my people live in the shadow of annihilation.”
For more than a decade, “I’ve been warning that nuclear armed Iran is a grave danger to my country and the peace and security of the entire world,” Netanyahu added. “For the last decade the international community has tried diplomacy, it hasn’t worked.”
Neither have sanctions, he said, noting that, “unfortunately, Iran’s nuclear program continues to march forward.”
The state of Israel has tried to remain patient, giving the world a chance “to resolve this issue.”
And while the Jewish state appreciates the strong bonds shared between the U.S. and Israel, “when it comes to Israel’s survival, we must always remain the masters of our fate.”
Pushing back against President Obama’s repeated warnings about the potential costs of war with Iran, Netanyahu said: “I think we ought to start talking about the costs of not stopping Iran.”
Netanyahu then made a promise: “I promise you that as prime minister I will never gamble with the security of the state of Israel.”
He also rebuked those who believe that nuclear containment is a viable option.
“Responsible leaders should not bet the security of their countries on the bet that the world’s most dangerous regimes won’t use the worlds most dangerous weapons,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu said that there is no doubt Iran is pursuing nuclear arms—despite claims to the contrary.
“If it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, and if it quacks like a duck, then what is it? Yes, that’s right, it’s a duck. But this is a nuclear duck," Netanyahu warned.