Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deflected criticism over recent Jerusalem construction progress and called attention to Iran’s ongoing nuclear weapons program in a recent meeting with senior United States senators.
“Building in Jerusalem is not the world’s problem; a nuclear Iran is the world’s problem,” said Netanyahu, adding, “History will not forgive those who do not stop Iran’s nuclear program.”
Attendees at the meeting which took place Saturday included John McCain (R-AZ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Christopher Coons (D-DE). Netanyahu also thanked the Democrat and Republican lawmakers for “the Senate’s unreserved, bipartisan support for the State of Israel,” according to a release from the Prime Minister’s office.
“They discussed the changes in the Middle East including the need to intensify sanctions against Iran, which is continuing to advance its nuclear program, and the advanced contacts between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas,” said the release.
In a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres which took place earlier in the day Senator McCain praised Israel as an example for other nations to follow. “Israel is an island of hope and a beacon to people all over the world who see Israel as a model and as an example of democracy and freedom,” he said.
Peres expressed appreciation for the US opposition to the Iranian nuclear weapons program and America’s stated commitment to ensure that Iran will not succeed in its nuclear ambitions. “We appreciate the American position on Iran, that it cannot be permitted a nuclear weapon if possible by civilian means but that all options are on the table,” said Peres.