Closely following the meeting with President Obama that lasted three hours, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the chief American-Israel lobby group, stressing that Israel could not afford to wait any longer to see if the international sanctions had the desired effect on Iran's nuclear ambitions.
I will never let Israel live under the shadow of annihilation, Netanyahu said, addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Monday. It's about time we start talking about the cost of not stopping Iran (from acquiring nuclear weapons), he said.
Invoking the holocaust, Netanyahu said Israel is the state of once powerless and stateless people who built a strong and proud nation able to defend itself.
And ladies and gentlemen, Israel must always reserve the right to defend itself, he said. Israelis cannot accept a world in which the Ayatollahs have atomic bombs.
The Jewish state will not allow those seeking our destruction to possess the means to achieve that goal. A nuclear armed Iran must be stopped. Amazingly, some people refuse to acknowledge that Iran's goal is to develop nuclear weapons, he said.
However, the Israeli premier defended the U.S. administration, despite Obama expressing reluctance in initiating military action right away during his Monday's meeting with Netanyahu at the Oval office.
Fortunately, President Obama and most world leaders understand that the idea that Iran's goal is not to develop nuclear weapons is ridiculous, Netanyahu said. Ladies and Gentlemen, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then what is it? That's right, it's a duck - but this duck is a nuclear duck. And it's time the world started calling a duck a duck.
While reassuring the Israelis that he will never gamble with the security of Israel, Netanyahu said, Responsible leaders should not bet the security of their countries on the belief that the world's most dangerous regime won't use the world's most dangerous weapons.
A nuclear-armed Iran would dramatically increase terrorism by giving terrorists a nuclear umbrella, he said, adding that Iran's terror proxies like Hezbollah, Hamas will be emboldened to attack America, Israel, and others because they will be backed by a power with atomic weapons.
If you're worried about the price of oil today, imagine how high oil prices will be when a nuclear-armed Iran starts blackmailing the world? Netanyahu asked.
Though Netanyahu acknowledged the American support to Israel, he gave away hints that the Jewish state wouldn't hesitate to strike Iran without direct support from Washington.
We deeply appreciate the great alliance between our two countries. But when it comes to Israel's survival, we must always remain the masters of our fate. Israel's fate is to continue to be the forward position of freedom in the Middle East, he said.