In an exclusive interview as he prepared to leave Australia after a four-day visit, he said an Iran with nuclear weapons would threaten Australia as well as the Middle East, and called for greater military-to-military co-operation between Jerusalem and Canberra.
“When I look at Syria and Iraq, I think that the danger of ISIS has been greatly reduced,” he said, “but the possibility now looms that the militant Sunnis of ISIS and al-Qa’ida may be replaced by the militant Shi’ites of Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah.” Netanyahu is confident that the new Trump administration in Washington will take tougher action against Iran.
He says the US is considering “as we speak” a range of new sanctions against Iran.
He remains a critic of the nuclear deal that the Obama administration enacted with Iran.
“If the deal can’t be changed, it should be cancelled,” he said. “The problem with the deal is that it guarantees that in 10 or 15 years, Iran will have the capacity for a breakout not of one or two bombs but up to 100 bombs. To have such a rogue nation with such vast atomic power will threaten the peace and stability of the entire world.”
Netanyahu’s call for closer military co-operation between Australia and Israel is one of the few areas where the two nations have not grown closer. Canberra sources suggest that while the Australian Defence Force has no objection to closer co-operation with Israel in principle, it fears this could damage or jeopardise the relationships it has in the Arab Gulf world, which allow Australia to deploy forces in Iraq and Syria, theaustralian.com reported.