Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met Thursday in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. After the meeting, Lapid spoke about Russia and Israel’s connections and the Iranian threat to the world.
The Israeli Foreign Minister went on to call Russia one of Israel’s most significant and important partners.
Lapid said that the two foreign ministers discussed ways to strengthen and deepen the relations the new government of Israel and the Russian government.
Mentioning the threats posed by Iran and Syria to Middle East stability, Lapid said, “We all aspire to bring security and stability in our region and to the world. Unfortunately, there won’t be stability in Syria, or in the wider Middle East, while there is an Iranian presence.”
He called Iran the number one exporter of terrorism in the world and said that it threatens everyone in the world.
“Israel will not sit quietly by, while Iran builds terror bases on our northern border,” he warned. “Or while Iran supplies advanced weapons to terror organizations. Weapons intended to be used against us.”
Lapid pledged that Israel will maintain its ability to defend itself in the face of threats from Syria and elsewhere.
“We of course recognize that Russia has key interests in the region. That is why we formed the military deconfliction mechanism – which is both necessary and effective,” added Lapid.
Lapid and Lavrov also spoke about Iran’s nuclear program. Lapid called the two recent reports from the IAEA as damning, pointing out that they include “serious violations. Fraud, deception and outright lies.”
“The picture is clear and very worrying,” said Lapid. “A rapidly advancing nuclear program without any effective supervision. The reports demand a Board of Governor’s decision.”
Lapid also said that Iran’s nuclear aspirations threaten not only Israel but the entire world. He stated that a nuclear Iran would also cause a new arms race in the Middle East.
The Foreign Minister called on the nations of the world to stop Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities, “no matter the price.” He also reserved for Israel the right to act if the rest of the world fails to adequately deal with the threat, calling Iran an existential threat to Israel.
“Israel will not allow Iran to become a nuclear state. Or even a nuclear threshold state,” declared Lapid.
Lapid closed by thanking both Minister Lavrov and Russian President Vladimir Putin.