In an interview with TBN that airs in full Tuesday night, a preview of which has been released exclusively to The Daily Wire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed President Trump’s decision to target Iran’s top military leader, Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force. The removal of Soleimani, said the Israeli leader, is a “tremendous achievement” that accomplished two key priorities at once.
Asked how Soleimani’s death will “change the Middle East,” Netanyahu told TBN Television Networks President Matthew Crouch that he believes that, first of all, “it sends a message of American determination and American strength — it’s a deterrence, a very powerful one.”
“Secondly, Soleimani himself was the architect and the generator of Iran’s empirical [goals], the Iranian empire,” Netanyahu continued. “Iran is predominantly Shiite. [Soleimani] would go into a neighboring country, say Iraq, and he would find Shiites and would create Shiite militias … manned by Iraqi Shiites but commanded by his own officers, Iranian officers. The same he would do in Syria, same he would do in Yemen.”
“He was beginning to choke the Middle East,” the prime minister stressed. “He wanted to conquer the entire Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula and ultimately destroy Israel. He was beginning to push his forces right next to Israel in Syria — and we responded to them very forcefully, we hit back.”
“But it is important to understand that Iran’s expansion into this horrible empire that brings misery and death to untold numbers of people in the Middle East—by the way, Jews and Arabs alike, Christians Muslims Jews, everyone,” said Netanyahu. “This man was an engine of destruction and conquest and subjugation. And his removal, I think, helps roll back these forces of tyranny.”
“It’s a tremendous achievement,” the prime minister added. “It both strengthens American deterrence but also pushes back Iran’s aggression.”
Video of Netanyahu’s comments below (full interview airs on TBN Tuesday night at 8/7c):
According to a press release issued by TBN Monday, in the 24-minute interview Netanyahu discusses a wide range of topics, including “Israel’s role as the Middle East’s sole democracy, its determination to aggressively defend itself against Iran and others intent on its destruction, and the important commitment of President Trump and America’s conservative and Christian community to stand in solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people.”
In response to the Trump-ordered strategic airstrike that took out Soleimani, Iran targeted two Iraqi bases where U.S. personnel were stationed. The next day, President Trump gave a televised address in which he announced that the strikes resulted in no U.S. or Iraqi deaths and that Iran had signaled that they were “standing down.” In the address, Trump reiterated his commitment to pushing back against Iran’s aggression in the region, particularly as orchestrated by Soleimani.
“As long as I am president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon,” Trump declared. “I am pleased to inform you, the American people should be extremely grateful and happy: No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. Our great American forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned, and a very good thing for the world.”
“For far too long, all the way back to 1979, to be exact, nations have tolerated Iran’s destructive and destabilizing behavior in the Middle East. Those days are over,” Trump stated. “Iran has been the leading state sponsor of terrorism, and their pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilized world. We will never let that happen.”
“As the head of the Quds Force, Soleimani was personally responsible for some of the absolutely worst atrocities,” the president explained. “He trained terrorist armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims. Soleimani directed the recent attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq that badly wounded four service members and killed one American, and he orchestrated the violent assault on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. In recent days, he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him.”