Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the weekly cabinet meeting at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, 31 December 2023

Stopping Iranian Nuclear Threat Remains Key Goal - Israeli PM

Sunday, 12/31/2023

The Israeli prime minister declared his ongoing commitment to ensuring that Iran does not gain nuclear weapons amid the ongoing war in Gaza.

"We are acting against Iran all the time, everywhere, and I will not go into details. Today, everyone understands that the threat from Iran will greatly increase if Iran has nuclear weapons," Benjamin Netanyahu said in his address on Saturday night.

"Therefore, the goal that I have been working toward for many years, even now, remains as is: To do absolutely everything to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons."

The IAEA announced last week that Iran has reversed a months-long slowdown in the rate at which it is enriching uranium to up to 60% purity, close to weapons grade. While Iran already has enough uranium enriched to up to 60%, if it continues to enrich, it will have the capacity to make three nuclear bombs, and more at lower enrichment levels.

Netanyahu also addressed the situation with Iran's Yemeni proxy, the Houthis, which has been targeting vessels in the Red Sea in a bid to pressure Israel to cease its retaliatory attacks on Gaza following the October 7 Hamas invasion. On the day now known as Black Sabbath, Hamas killed 1,200 mostly civilians and took at least 240 more hostage. Since Israel launched its retaliation, Hamas claims at least 21,000 Gazans have died. 

Netanyahu praised the US-led international coalition formed to combat the martimite threat, the route responsible for 12 percent of global trade. "I spoke with many leaders about the need to form an international coalition to safeguard freedom of international navigation in the straits. I welcome the fact that such a coalition has been formed. In any case, we will not allow this threat to harm the citizens of Israel or the Israeli economy," he said.

Providing an update on the ongoing conflict against the Iran-backed Hamas terror group, Netanyahu acknowledged the continuation of the war on all fronts.

"We have eliminated over 8,000 terrorists, and we are eliminating many more each day of fighting. Step by step, we are wiping out Hamas's capabilities. Hamas will be defeated. Our soldiers will win. The people of Israel will win," he said, amid a war which has now spread to Israel's north with Hezbollah in Lebanon increasing its bombardments.

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