Bibi: Israel Willing to Clash with Biden Admin Over Iran's Nuclear Program

Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the first leg of his four-day trip to the Middle East, on May 25, 2021 in Jerusalem, Israel. / Getty Images
June 1, 2021

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said his government will prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons even if it causes "friction" with the Biden administration.

"The greatest threat we face is the existential threat created by Iran's attempts to get nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said at the swearing-in ceremony for Mossad chief David Barnea. "This could be in the form of threatening us—a small and clustered country—with annihilation, or with tens of thousands of missiles that would get a nuclear umbrella. This could pose a threat to the Zionist enterprise and we must counter this without stopping."

Even as both Israel and U.S. lawmakers have vowed to prevent Tehran from obtaining the funds and materials necessary to develop nuclear weapons, Iran has continued to forge ahead with its WMD development. In April, the Washington Free Beacon reported findings from German intelligence that indicated Iran is eyeing a large-scale buildup of both its conventional and nuclear weapons. Iran has also equipped Hamas terrorists with thousands of rockets following the terrorist group's latest conflict with the Jewish state.

The Biden administration has signaled interest in rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, even as Republican hawks and some Democrats have expressed opposition to a renewed agreement. President Joe Biden's overtures to the Islamic Republic have also raised alarms among Israel's defense community—in an April letter, more than 2,000 Israeli military and intelligence officials warned the administration against pursuing a nuclear deal with Tehran.

At the Tuesday swearing-in ceremony, Mossad chief David Barnea said his agency will do everything in its power to cripple the Iranian nuclear program, leaving open the possibility of assassinations and targeted strikes.

"The Iranian [nuclear] program will continue to be met with the full power of the long arm of the Mossad," Barnea said. "We are very familiar with the different components of the nuclear program and we are very familiar personally with the officials involved in it and also with the officials who direct them."