Israel’s new Prime Minister may be sharing a laugh with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid but he is deadly serious when talking about the government in Tehran. The coming months will be a time of tension and stress in the always volatile Middle East cauldron.
Excerpted from Times of Israel 6.20.2021
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday opened the first cabinet meeting of his new government with a condemnation of the newly elected Iranian president. He said Iran’s choice was a sign for world powers to “wake up” before returning to a nuclear agreement with Tehran.
“A regime of brutal hangmen must never be allowed to have weapons of mass destruction that will enable it to not kill thousands, but millions,” the prime minister said, speaking briefly in English.
Iran’s hardline judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected Saturday with 62 percent of the vote amid a historically low voter turnout and as all major competitors were disqualified or pulled out.
He is sanctioned by the US in part over his involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, at the end of the Iran-Iraq war. Raisi has not commented specifically on the event.
He said that the new government would follow the previous Israeli administration’s policy of determinedly opposing Iran reaching a nuclear weapon.