Former Jerusalem mayor and current Israeli Member of Knesset Nir Barkat did not mince words about Iran in an interview with Fox News Digital.
Barkat warned that Iran’s goal is to eliminate Israel.
“Iran is an Islamic regime that wants to wipe Israel off the map. We are perceived the ‘small Satan,’ and, by the way, the United States is the ‘large Satan.’ We’re in the same line,” Barkat said. “And you don’t negotiate any deal with someone who wants to wipe you off the map. There’s no point in any deal.”
Barkat explained that Iran poses dual threats to Israel. First is their nuclear aspiration.
“They plan to create a bomb in order to use it,” he claimed. “And we must stop them. They will use it if they have it.”
The other threat is Iran’s use of proxy groups that surround Israel with hundreds of rockets. The Jewish state has often been on the receiving end of barrages from groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, which has led to wars against Israel’s neighbor in the north.
Barkat warned that Israel will not tolerate either threat.
“We have to make sure that Iran understands that if they try to gain nuclear power, we will stop them by force, and hopefully that will deter them. And if and when they use their proxies to attack Israel, it’s not going to be the third Lebanese war, it will be the first Iran war, and we will attack Tehran.”
Barkat did note, however, that first Israel would “have to align interests” with the United States and other Western nations.
“There is no better ally and partner Israel has in the world, which is the United States, and we have to work hard on this together,” he said.
Barkat clarified that it is not his wish for Israel to go to war to Iran, but said it is imperative that it is ready to do so.
“Israel has to prepare itself for war with Iran, and the best way to not have a war is to plan on attacking if we need to,” Barkat said. “So hopefully, our preparation and the alignment with the United States will deter Iran from their evil plan. However, if they’re not, we will have to use force.”
Barkat also noted that many moderate Arab countries in the Middle East are “threatened by Iran” and that there is some cooperation between them and Israel on that front.