Just 24 hours after US President Donald Trump spoke in his inaugural address about the need to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put a brief video clip on social media aimed at placing the Iranian threat squarely back on the international agenda.
“I plan to speak soon with President Trump about how to counter the threat of the Iranian regime, which calls for Israel’s destruction,” Netanyahu said in the two-and-a-half minute video addressed directly to the Iranian people.
“This ruthless regime continues to deny you your freedom,” Netanyahu said in the English video, accompanied by Farsi subtitles. “It prevents thousands of candidates form competing in elections, it steals money from your poor to fund a mass murderer like [Syrian President Bashar] Assad. By calling daily for Israel’s destruction, the regime hopes to instill hostility between us. This is wrong. We are your friend, not your enemy.”
This was the first video of this sort Netanyahu has put out in months, after putting out several in the spring and summer that addressed issues such as Palestinian incitement and the settlements. It is also the first time in a while that he has exclusively addressed the Iranian issue, other than in a couple of sentences in public appearances here and there.