JERUSALEM, Israel – In the first address of his historic visit to South and Central America (Mexico), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience of Jewish leaders in Argentina that Iran poses a security threat worldwide, saying no country is immune to terror attacks.
At the Argentinian Israeli Jewish community center in Buenos Aires – the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), Netanyahu spoke of the 1992 terror attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the attack on the Jewish community center building two years later. Four members of Israel's Foreign Service were among the 29 killed in the embassy attack. Netanyahu invited three family members whose loved ones were killed to accompany the delegation.
Eighty-five perished in the 1994 attack on the community center building.
"Today, just as in the past, Iran instigates terrorism all over the world. Just as two and a half decades ago, when Iran was the one to light the fuse of the explosive that hit Argentina twice," YNet quoted Netanyahu as saying. "Iran initiated, planned and carried out the terrible terror attacks through its proxy, Hezbollah."
Netanyahu said it's time to hold Iran accountable for its actions "publically and definitively."
"It is time to hold Iran fully responsible in a public and final way," he said. "It is time to get justice for the victims," he said. "It is time to denounce the perpetrators."
Netanyahu said Israel will continue leading the struggle against global terrorism, vowing that the Jewish state will defend itself against Iranian terrorism and Islamic aggression.
"There is not a single country on earth that is immune to terrorism, not even the countries that are terrorizing. Everyone is hurt by this evil," he said, yet it continues with methodical, unending cruelty.
Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, departed Sunday evening on the state visit to South America, Mexico and the U.S., where he'll address the U.N.'s annual General Assembly in New York.
The trip marks the first time a sitting prime minister is traveling to South and Central America.
Before leaving his Jerusalem residence, Netanyahu told Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto "Israel is ready to render all the assistance at our disposal" to victims of the recent earthquake off Mexico's southern coast. The death toll has reached 96, as search-and-rescue efforts continue.
"From Mexico, I will go to the U.S. to address the U.N. General Assembly and also meet with my friend, President Donald Trump," Netanyahu said, adding that he's looking forward to meeting with him on the sidelines of the U.N. assembly.
Netanyahu closed his remarks by wishing Americans a "safe and sound" emergence from the difficult times they've been through, saying "This storm too shall pass" and Israelis are praying for their safety.