Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has used a visit to a secretive Israeli atomic reactor to warn the country’s enemies that it has the means to destroy them, in what appeared to be a veiled reference to its assumed nuclear arsenal.
“Those who threaten to wipe us out put themselves in a similar danger, and in any event will not achieve their goal,” he said on Wednesday during a ceremony to rename the complex, near the desert town of Dimona, after the late Israeli statesman Shimon Peres.
Netanyahu’s remarks, issued by his office in a transcript, came as Israel lobbies world powers to follow the United States in exiting their 2015 deal with Iran that capped the Islamic Republic’s nuclear capabilities.
The Israelis deem the agreement insufficient for denying their arch-foe the means to eventually get the bomb – something that Tehran, which is a signatory to the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), denies wanting.
The reimposition of US sanctions has put pressure on the Iranian economy, scaring off some foreign investors even as European powers try to salvage the 2015 pact. On Wednesday, Iran said it could abandon the accord.