Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will take military action against Iran if the world turns its back on the Jewish state, the head of Israel’s National Security Council Tzachi Hanegbi said Monday.

“If we are abandoned, Prime Minister Netanyahu will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities,” Hanegbi said in an interview with Channel 12.

“The previous government also said that it was preparing the defense forces…for a situation in which we are on our own,” he added.

“The central mission of the prime minister and his primary obligation is to ensure that Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons. The alternative to an attack is accepting a reality in which a radical regime has nuclear weapons. No Israeli leader can accept that,” said Hanegbi.

Hanegbi last week stepped into his new role as head of the National Security Council, following a transitional phase with his predecessor Eyal Hulata that included an in-depth study of security and diplomatic issues.

Netanyahu appointed Hanegbi, a confidante and Likud Party veteran, to the position in December. He has held several ministerial posts throughout his career, including the health, communications and justice portfolios. He also served as chairman of several Knesset panels, including the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Finance Committee.

One of Hanegbi’s first orders of business is to prepare for the visit, likely in the next week, of his American counterpart Jake Sullivan, with the Iranian nuclear threat topping the agenda.

Hanegbi stated in an op-ed in December that Netanyahu has remained in politics because of the threat posed by Iran, and not because of his ongoing trial on corruption charges.

There are no divisions in Israel over the urgent need to encourage the free world and its leader, the United States, “our greatest ally,” to use all available means to thwart Iran’s nuclear program for as long as this is possible. If the rest of the world does not cooperate, Israel reserves the right to protect itself, by itself, he added.


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