July 15, 2019 / 7:15 PM / 4 months ago

Israel says EU's response on Iran recalls Nazi appeasement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an event marking 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Shomron Local Council in the Jewish settlement of Revava in the Israeli-occupied West Bank July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned a European Union response on Monday to Iran’s breaches of nuclear limitations, saying it recalled failed diplomacy with Nazi Germany ahead of World War Two.

“(It) reminds me of the European appeasement of the 1930s,” Netanyahu said in a video statement after EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said none of the parties to a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran saw its increased uranium enrichment as “significant non-compliance”.

“Then, too, there were those who stuck their head in the sand and did not see the approaching danger,” said Netanyahu, who has often cast Iran’s nuclear projects as a mortal menace to Israel and the wider world. Iran denies seeking a nuclear bomb.

“It seems there are those in Europe who will not wake up until Iranian nuclear missiles land on European soil. But then it will be too late, of course,” Netanyahu said.

Israel’s main ally the United States quit the Iran nuclear deal last year, deeming it insufficient. That left Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany as parties to the deal.

Israel has predicted that, should European powers join Washington in reimposing sanctions on Tehran, that could prompt the Iranians to enter talks on a more limiting nuclear accord.

Alluding to Israel’s long-standing if veiled threat of a last-resort war against its arch-foe, Netanyahu said: “In any event, we will continue to do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran getting nuclear weaponry.”

Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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