TEL AVIV (AFP) — The international community must prevent the rise of a radical Islamist regime in Pakistan that would possess nuclear weapons, Israel’s opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.
Netanyahu — whose right-wing Likud party is widely favoured to emerge victorious in general elections in February — also reiterated his call that Israel’s arch foe Iran must not be allowed to acquire a nuclear bomb.
“We don’t want radical Islam to possess nuclear bombs,” the former prime minister said in a speech in Tel Aviv.
“I am talking about the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and at the same time of the need to prevent Pakistan from coming under an radical Islamic regime,” he said.
The hawkish MP, seen by many as likely to become the Jewish state’s next prime minister following the February 10 elections, said US president-elect Barack Obama would have to address both threats.
“This needs to be Israel’s policy, but first and foremost that has to be the policy of the leader of the free world, the United States.
“Obama will have two huge tasks. First the gloabal economic crisis… and preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons which would strengthen the problem of the radical Islamic terror,” Netanyahu said.
Israel — the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear armed state — and the West have accused Iran of using its nuclear programme to develop an atomic bomb, but Tehran insists it is solely for civilian purposes.