Netanyahu: Mideast Would Be ‘Relieved’ If Israel Took Out Iran’s Nukes

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Israeli Prime Minister and Chairman of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu waves to the crowd during the Likud party’s central convention on Oct. 29, 2012 in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv. (credit: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister and Chairman of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu waves to the crowd during the Likud party’s central convention on Oct. 29, 2012 in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv. (credit: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Middle East would be relieved if the Jewish state took out Iran’s nuclear facilities.

According to The Times of Israel, Netanyahu told Paris Match, a French newspaper, that Israel has a right to defend itself.

“Five minutes after [a strike], contrary to what the skeptics say, I think a feeling of relief would spread across the region,” Netanyahu said, according to The Times of Israel.

Netanyahu said that other Mideast governments realize that they are also not safe if there is a nuclear-armed Iran.

“Iran is not popular in the Arab world, far from it, and some governments in the region, as well as their citizens, have understood that a nuclear-armed Iran would be dangerous for them, not just for Israel,” he told the French paper, according to The Times of Israel.

The Obama administration has clashed with Israel over how to deal with Iran, as President Obama wants to cripple Iran’s nuclear efforts with tough sanctions, while Netanyahu has hinted that Israel will launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told The Daily Telegraph Tuesday that Iran averted an immediate crisis by using over a third of its medium-enriched uranium for civilian purposes, but warned that Tehran could still be confronted by next summer if enrichment for a nuclear weapon continues.

“It’s not a minor decision to contemplate an operation against Iran, but however complicated, dangerous – it probably carries some unintended consequences – an operation against Iran could be now – think of what it means to try it when Iran is already nuclear, several years down the stream,” Barak told The Telegraph.

Netanyahu is in France Wednesday and Thursday to urge leaders to strengthen sanctions against Iran.

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