Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

Netanyahu: Iran is like a 'hungry tiger unleashed'

Israeli leader tries to rally support to overturn the Iran nuclear agreement that he claims has emboldened an ambitious Iran to spread its influence across the region

Beware the Iranian tiger, warns Benjamin Netanyahu REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Beware the Iranian tiger, warns Benjamin Netanyahu REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Benjamin Netanyahu warned the world to “fix it or nix it” as he sought support to overturn the Iran nuclear agreement, which he said had unleashed a hungry tiger.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Mr Netanyahu said the “sunset clause” in the 2015 deal would pave the way for an Iranian bomb, not halt progress as the proponents of the deal claim.

“It means that in a few years, those restrictions will be automatically removed, not by a change in Iran's behaviour, not by a lessening of its terror or its aggression: they'll just be removed by a mere change in the calendar,” he said.

The Israeli leader said Iran’s regional behaviour ever since the agreement came into effect had borne out his warnings that Tehran would be emboldened by the lifting of sanctions.

“Iran would behave like a hungry tiger unleashed, not joining the community of nations, but devouring nations one after the other. And that's precisely what Iran is doing today,” he said.

Echoing Winston Churchill, he said Iran was on the march all around its borders. “From the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, from Tehran to Tartus, an Iranian curtain is descending across the Middle East. Iran spreads this curtain of tyranny and terror over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere,” he said.

Addressing Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader, directly, he said Iranian aggression would backfire. “Those who threaten us with annihilation put themselves in mortal peril”.

A warning that the Iranian nuclear deal was boosting Iran’s agenda was heard on the sidelines of the UNGA meeting from Prince Turki Al Faisal, the former Saudi Arabia ambassador to Washington.

“The Iranians are boasting about their ambitions and their activities,” he told a summit convened by United against a Nuclear Iran. “They are telling us exactly what they want to do and we are helping them do it.”

Updated: September 20, 2017 01:49 AM