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Netanyahu: Israel will thwart Iran's nuclear program even at expense of US ties

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on February 21, 2018 [THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on 21 February 2018 [THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would be willing to risk ties with the US in order to thwart Iran's nuclear programme.

Netanyahu also called for the continuation of covert operations against Iran, adding: "I have said these things to my friend of 40 years, [US President] Joe Biden, and I told him, 'With or without an agreement, we will continue to do everything in our power to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons.'"

In an interview during a ceremony held by the new Mossad chief, David Barnea, Netanyahu pointed out that a nuclear Iran would be the greatest threat to Israel's existence.

"If we have to choose, I hope it doesn't happen, between friction with our great friend the United States and eliminating the existential threat — eliminating the existential threat" wins, Netanyahu said.

This comes as the US and Iran hold talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal which saw the Islamic Republic limit its nuclear capabilities in return for the removal of sanctions. Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the agreement and reimposed 'unprecendented' sanctions on Iran in 2018.

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