Israelis Cautiously Hopeful on Syria Weapons Deal
Israeli leaders expressed cautious hope Sunday about a U.S.-Russia agreement that would require Syria to identify and eliminate its chemical weapons by mid-2014, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the region to discuss the deal.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel hoped the plan would lead to the “complete destruction” of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal and would push the world to stop Iran, Syria’s close ally, from developing nuclear weapons. Israel believes that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons and has identified the international community’s response to the Syrian crisis as a “test case” for Iran. Iran denies the charge.
“This test of results also applies to the international community’s diplomatic efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear armament,” Netanyahu said. “Words will not decide, only actions and results. In any instance, Israel must be ready to defend itself, by itself, against any threat, and this ability and readiness is more important today than ever.”