Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel views with utmost gravity the intent of Iran to send warships to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, a move he termed "an Iranian attempt to expand its influence in the region."
Netanyahu said during the weekly cabinet meeting that the "security component is critical to any peace agreement.":
"Over the weekend, US President Barack Obama decided to veto a draft UN Security Council decision condemning Israel. Israel deeply appreciates this decision and we remain committed to advancing peace both with our neighbors in the region and with the Palestinians. I believe that the US decision makes it clear that the only way to peace is direct negotiations and not through the actions of international bodies, which are designed to bypass direct negotiations. The most important thing in any negotiations that we conduct is the security component. The security component is critical to any peace agreement and I think that today, we can see what an unstable region we live in, a region in which Iran tries to exploit the situation that has been created in order to expand its influence by passing warships through the Suez Canal. Israel views this Iranian move with utmost gravity and this step, like other steps and developments, underscores what I have reiterated in recent years – Israel's security needs will grow and the defense budget must grow accordingly.