Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennet on Sunday warned about the outcome of Iran’s presidential election and said it is further proof that Tehran cannot be allowed to get a hold of nuclear weapons.
Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s new president, is already sanctioned by the U.S. in part over his involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988. He won 62% of the vote in an election with a very low turnout.
Some Israeli officials have called Raisi the most dangerous person to occupy the office.
“Raisi’s election as president of Iran is a signal to world powers that they need to wake up,” Bennett said, according to the Jerusalem Post. “This may be the last signal a moment before returning to the Iran deal. They must understand who they’re doing business with and what kind of regime they are choosing to strengthen. A regime of executioners cannot have weapons of mass destruction.”
Bennett, a right-wing leader in the country who was once an aide for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has already faced serious challenges after just over a week in power. There was a controversial flag parade in Jerusalem that sparked a conflict last week after Hamas launched a balloon attack. Israel responded with airstrikes in Gaza.
Bennett was clearly signaling the U.S. when he mentioned returning to the nuclear deal. The Post reported that Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, said in an interview that the top priority at the moment is “to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report