WARSAW — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel kicked off a two-day visit to Poland — which Germany’s Nazis occupied during World War II — with a stern warning about a potential Holocaust from Iran.
Netanyahu said Wednesday the upcoming Iranian presidential election will ‘‘change nothing’’ in the Islamic republic’s quest for nuclear weapons and that the regime will continue to pursue a bomb aimed at destroying Israel. Iran insists its uranium enrichment program has only peaceful goals.
Iran’s election overseers have approved a list of candidates, most of them loyalists favored by both the theocracy and the military, and any future president will probably side with the supreme leadership’s nuclear aspirations.
Hours after Iran’s presidential candidates bickered over nuclear policies during a televised debate, Iran’s foreign minister stepped in Wednesday with a comment: Nothing will change regardless of the winner.
‘‘This is a regime that is building nuclear weapons with the expressed purpose to annihilate Israel’s 6 million Jews,’’ Netanyahu said, alluding to the number of Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II. ‘‘We will not allow this to happen. We will never allow another Holocaust.’’
Israel considers Iran its greatest threat because of its support of Islamist militant groups, its arsenal of long-range missiles, and primarily its advanced nuclear program.
Netanyahu’s comments in Warsaw came a day before he travels to the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz in southern Poland, where he is to inaugurate a new pavilion meant to educate visitors about the Holocaust.
Netanyahu and five ministers met with their Polish counterparts and discussed security in Israel’s neighborhood, including stalled talks with the Palestinians, the conflict in Syria, and a series of bilateral issues such as Poland’s possible purchase of Israeli armaments. Israel has been urging Poland to declare the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah a terrorist organization.