16:52 GMT +316 December 2018
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    Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, uses a diagram of a bomb to describe Iran's nuclear program while delivering his address to the 67th United Nations General Assembly meeting September 27, 2012 at the United Nations in New York.

    Netanyahu Accuses Iran of 'Building Aggressive Empire', Tehran Hits Back

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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Iran of capitalizing on the relief of sanctions and funding international terrorism, a push which he said should be prevented.

    In an interview with Fox News, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out that Tel Aviv's three greatest current threats are "Iran, Iran and Iran."

    "Everybody said after the nuclear deal that Iran coming out of the gate would be a more moderate, more peaceful country. The exact opposite has happened. Iran is trying to build an empire – an aggressive empire," he stressed.

    According to Netanyahu, the repeal of anti-Iranian sanctions has allowed Tehran to obtain billions of dollars "to fund this aggressive empire to fund terrorism worldwide – to fund aggression."

    READ MORE: Netanyahu: Israel to Counter Iran's Attempts to Establish Itself in Syria

    "And I think it's important to prevent them from continuing these malevolent acts," he concluded.

    Paying the Price

    Separately, Iran's Fars News cited the country's senior military commander Gholam Ali Rashid as saying that Israel is unable to pay the "unimaginable" price for its confrontation with Tehran.

    "Today, the Zionist regime has, more than in the past, understood the Islamic Republic of Iran's power in the region and will avoid testing it because it cannot manage confrontation against Iran and cannot bear its costs," he added.

    Earlier this month, Netanyahu told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference that Tel Aviv will stop Iran from developing or building factories in Syria and Lebanon for the construction of missiles that would be used to attack Israel.

    READ MORE: Mossad Chief: Israel Has 'Eyes and Ears' on the Ground in Iran

    In July 2015, Iran and the P5+1 group of nations, including Russia, the US, China, France and the UK plus Germany, signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal.

    The agreement envisages a step-by-step lifting of anti-Iranian sanctions in exchange for Tehran refraining from exploring military applications in pursuing its nuclear power generation program.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a remnant of what he said was a piece of Iranian drone which was shot down in Israeli airspace during his speech at the Munich Security Conference, Germany February 18, 2018
    © REUTERS / Lennart Preiss/MSC Munich Security Conference
    During the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in December 2017, Iran refused to ratify the summit's final statement's articles which recognized what Tehran described as "the usurper Zionist regime."

    Israel, for its part, is concerned over the Iranian nuclear program and Tehran's alleged support for a spate of militant groups, such as Hezbollah. Tensions exacerbated further after the Israeli armed forces intercepted what they said was an Iranian drone and conducted a series of attacks on military objects in Syria.

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    Tags:
    regime, terrorism, empire, threats, Benjamin Netanyahu, Tehran, Israel
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