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Israeli Spokesman: Iran is Still the Top Threat to Israel

May 29, 2014 By:
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Israeli Defense Minister Moshe "Boogie" Yaalon (right) and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz have been keeping a close eye on Iran. Photo by Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense/Flash90.

Forget about the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement or failed peace talks with the Palestinians; Iran is still threat no. 1 on Israel’s chalkboard.

That was the message delivered by Aaron Sagui, the spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., who sat with local reporters and Jewish communal professionals, in separate meetings, on May 28 to provide an update on matters concerning Israel.

“With the Iranian regime we cannot reach partial agreements,” Sagui said, referring to reports that the P5+1 group, which consists of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany, could reach a deal with Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program by July 20.

“We have to enforce the endgame on them, which is very simple: Stopping the nuclear military program,” Sagui said.

Sagui said that only by eliminating Iran’s nuclear capability and continuing to impose crippling economic sanctions will the threat from Iran be eliminated.  

Though he singled out the Iranian threat, Sagui addressed his views on the BDS movement, which he said amounted to back-door anti-Semitism and added that Israel is closely following events in Europe where anti-Semitic speech and events have recently been perpetrated in Greece, Ukraine, France and Belgium.

He declared that Israel expects European countries to act “not only against those who are actively conducting anti-Semitic activities but also to educate people about anti-Semitism.”

As for relations between Israel and the United States, which have been strained following the failed Middle East peace talks, Sagui said: “Cooperation is as strong as ever.”

The Israeli Embassy’s spokesman also shrugged off President Barack Obama’s omission of Israel from his foreign policy-related commencement address to West Point graduates given the morning of the news conference.

“I’m not worried because Israel enjoys unprecedented support from the U.S.,” Sagui said. “Friendship and understanding is across the board.”

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