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Netanyahu: Israel Won't Allow Iran To Get Nuclear Bomb

  • RFE/RL

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Tehran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons, and only a combination of tough sanctions and credible military threat could peacefully prevent it from achieving its goal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Tehran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons, and only a combination of tough sanctions and credible military threat could peacefully prevent it from achieving its goal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, even it has to stand alone against the threat.

"I want there to be no confusion on this point -- Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone Israel will stand alone," Netanyahu said in his address to the UN General Assembly on October 1.

"Yet in standing alone Israel will know that we will be defending many, many others."

Netanyahu said Tehran was attempting to develop nuclear weapons, and only a combination of tough sanctions and credible military threat could peacefully prevent it from achieving its goal.

Netanyahu said he didn't believe new Iranian President Hassan Rohani's "soothing rhetoric" and his "meaningless concessions."

He called Rohani a "loyal servant of the regime," which seeks to develop nuclear weapons, and said Rohani's goal was the same as that of his hard-line predecessor, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who has publicly called for the Jewish state's destruction.

Netanyahu said Ahmadinejad and Rohani were different only in the methods they employed, and called the latter "a wolf in sheep's clothing."

"He masterminded the strategy which enabled Iran to advance its nuclear-weapons program behind a smokescreen of diplomatic engagement and very soothing rhetoric," Netanyahu said.

Now, I know, Rohani doesn't sound like Ahmadinejad but when it comes to Iran's nuclear-weapons program, the only difference between them is this: Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf's clothing; Rohani is a wolf in sheep's clothing; a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community."

Netanyahu said a nuclear-armed Iran would turn "the most unstable part of the planet [the Middle East], into a nuclear tinderbox."

Netanyahu also said he was committed to making peace with the Palestinians, but added that the Palestinian leadership must recognize the Jewish state.

Khodadad Seifi, a deputy ambassador at Iran's UN mission, speaking immediately after the Israeli prime minister, told the General Assembly that Netanyahu's remarks were "inflammatory."

Iran denies claims it seeks to develop nuclear arms, saying the country's nuclear program has peaceful purposes only.

On September 30, Netanyahu urged U.S. President Barack Obama to keep the pressure on Iran as world powers and the Islamic republic pursue negotiations.

Obama and Netanyahu met at the White House three days after the U.S. president spoke with Rohani by telephone in the highest-level U.S.-Iranian contact in more than three decades.

Obama said Iran must prove its sincerity in negotiations by taking action to resolve concerns about its nuclear program.
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