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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Middle East

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Netanyahu: Egypt Could Be A New Iran

February 8, 2011 - 11:16 AM | by: Greg Burke

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that Egypt could potentially go the route of Iran. While Israel is clearly watching events across the border closely, the government has not said a whole lot about how it sees the situation shaping up.

But Netanyahu spoke to a group of European legislators about the unrest, outlining three different scenarios for Egypt, which has had relatively good relations with Israel since the two countries signed a peace treaty in 1979.

?First, Egyptians may choose to embrace the model of a secular reformist state with a prominent role for the military,? Netanyahu said. ?There is a second possibility, that the Islamists exploit their influence to gradually take the country into a reverse direction.?

The third possibility, the Prime Minister said, is that Egypt go the way of Iran, ?where calls for progress will be silenced by a dark and violent despotism.?

Netanyahu said he expects any new Egyptian government to keep the peace treaty with Israel, as it has served both countries ? and the entire region ? well.

For the Israeli Prime Minister, though, the biggest problem at the moment isn?t Egypt. ?The greatest threat facing the world today is the possibility that a militant Islamic regime will meet up with nuclear weapon and that nuclear weapons will meet up with a militant Islamic regime,? he said. ?The first is called Iran. The second is called Pakistan.?

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