Iran Is More Dangerous Than North Korea, Says Israel's Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that if Iran is capable of developing nuclear weapons, it will become "infinitely more dangerous" than North Korea.

Speaking at the London-based think tank Chatham House on Friday, Netanyahu stressed Iran's objective to "dominate the world," Arab News reported. The Israeli leader also underscored Iran's support of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Yemen's Houthis and Iraq's Shiite militia groups.

"The one potent force in militant Islam that has emerged is Iran. And it is devouring one nation after the other," Netanyahu said. "It is doing so either by direct conflict, or more usually by using proxies," Netanyahu told the crowd.

He also pointed out he would not allow Iran to seize control over Syria by retaining militias, airbases close to his country or access to seaports, The Guardian reported. "They want to leave their army, their airbases, and fighter aircraft within seconds of Israel and we are not going to let that happen. We do not say that lightly. We mean what we say and we back it with action," he noted.

Netanyahu pointed at a map showing Iran's alleged plan for a "so-called" Shiite crescent extending to Israel's borders. "They have actually a conception of world domination that should have gone out the window with the last religious wars," he added. "There's something irrational and dangerous in such a cause."

Netanyahu's penchant for visuals to illustrate Iran's plans is reminiscent of his speech at the U.N. General Assembly on September 27, 2012, when he showed a comic book-like bomb graphic that described Iran's nuclear program. At the time, he wanted to show Iran's progress in acquiring materials to make a bomb, drawing a red line at the 90-percent threshold. The explanation sparked confusion among nuclear experts, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

As a result, Netanhayu's views on Iran's nuclear deal has been under scrutiny. An article by New Yorker last month indicated that many Israeli security professionals—including Uzi Arad, Mossad's former head of research and head of Netanyahu's National Security Council from 2009 to 2011—support upholding the deal.

Last month, President Donald Trump threatened to decertify Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement because he felt "tired of being taken advantaged of as a nation," giving Congress 60 days to choose whether or not to reinstate sanctions that had been lifted under the deal, Politico said.

Trump has criticized the deal struck under President Barack Obama and other world powers, calling it "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into."