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Netanyahu Urges International 'Red Line' To Stop Iran


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "The international community is not laying down a clear red line for Iran."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged major world powers to set "a clear red line" for Iran's nuclear program.

Speaking during a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said the international community had not done enough to deter Iran from pursuing a program that Israel and the West believe is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.

"The Iranians are using the talks with the world powers to gain time and to advance their nuclear program. I believe we must state the truth," Netanyahu said. "The international community is not laying down a clear red line for Iran and Iran is not seeing an international determination to stop its nuclear program.

"Unless Iran sees this clear red line and this clear determination," he continued, "it will not stop advancing its nuclear program, and Iran must not have nuclear weapons."

Talks With Obama

Netanyahu's remarks come as Israel is seeking to win a pledge from the United States that it will act militarily if Iran does not back down on its uranium-enrichment program.

The Israeli premier is due to reiterate his concerns about Iran at the UN General Assembly later this month.

He is also expected to hold talks with U.S. President Barack Obama during his visit to the United States.

Israel, which is currently the only nuclear power in the Middle East, has hinted at growing frustration with Washington for its failure to threaten military action against Iran.

Obama has insisted he will not allow Iran to build atomic weapons and that all options are on the table.

But General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, has suggested Washington would not be drawn into conflict with Iran if Israel chose to launch an attack.

The United States and other nations have imposed an economic sanctions regime on Iran in hopes of persuading it to halt -- or make transparent -- the more suspect aspects of its nuclear work.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only, but has routinely denied international inspectors access to its more sensitive nuclear facilities.

Report Has 'Little Impact'

A United Nations report said on August 20 that Iran had more than doubled the number of centrifuges in its fortified bunker at Fordow since May.

The report, released by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, was released as Iran was hosting representatives from 120 states at a meeting of the Nonaligned Movement.

But Netanyahu said the report had little impact on either Iran or the NAM meeting.

"The most serious thing is that this [Nonaligned Movement meeting] happened as the [International Atomic Energy Agency] report was published last week. The report confirms what I have been saying for a long time," he said. "International sanctions are a burden on Iran's economy, but they are not in any way delaying the advancement of Iran's nuclear program."

Iranian media on September 2 cited Mohammad Ali Assoudi, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as saying that Iran was prepared to launch a retaliatory strike against Israel if it attacked Iran.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
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