Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday warned that Israel would do everything necessary to prevent the transfer of Syria’s chemical stockpile into the hands of terrorists.
Speaking at a meeting with ambassadors from EU countries posted in Israel, Netanyahu expressed his concerns at the active role played by both Iran and Hezbollah in the continuing violence in Syria. Alluding to the possibility of Israeli military action, Netanyahu said that “We will do everything that is needed” to stop Syria’s chemical stockpile being transferred to terrorists in the region amidst the chaos of the current conflict. Syria is believed to have the world’s third largest chemical arsenal and has in the past been a major source of weaponry for Hezbollah in neighbouring Lebanon.
Netanyahu also used the meeting with European envoys as an opportunity to praise the European Union (EU) for the latest set of sanctions that it adopted this week against Iran. He said, “I am happy about the European Union sanctions against Iran, which seriously impair Iran’s economy.” However, Netanyahu also added a cautious tone, saying “But, up to now, sanctions have not stopped the Iranian nuclear programme” and stressed that “without a credible military threat against Tehran,” sanctions will not suffice in curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Meanwhile, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman called the new EU measures “irrational, illegal and inhumane” and said that they are “against the Iranian nation.”