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PM: World has yet to set red line on Iran

Netanyahu slams western powers over weak approach to Iran's nuclear program; says until red line is set, Tehran progress will continue. 'Sanctions a burden but fail to delay program'

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 09.02.12, 12:28 / Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued to slam the western powers, chief of which is the US over their lack of efforts to delay Tehran's nuclear program.

 

"Until Iran doesn't see a red line, it will not stop the program. Iran must not be allowed to have nuclear weapons," he said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, but this time openly hinted at the possibility of an Israeli strike on the Islamic Republic.

 

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"Last week 120 countries gathered in Tehran and heard the Iranian leader's slanderous anti-Semitic statements against Israel. No one got up and left the auditorium," Netanyahu said.

 

"This becomes even more serious in light of the IAEA report which confirmed what I've been saying for a long time: Sanctions may be a burden but they do not delay the progress of the nuclear program," the prime minister added.

 

According to Netanyahu: "The Iranians are taking advantage of the talks in order to gain time and advance their nuclear program. You need to tell it like it is, the international community has not set a clear red line, Iran doesn’t see enough determination to stop its nuclear program.”

 

As US-Israel tensions mount over the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, Netanyahu's ministers expressed criticism of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff . General Martin Dempsey said that he did not wish to be complicit in an Israeli strike and warned of its consequences.

 

"We certainly didn't like his statements," said Environment Protection Minister Gilad Erdan.

 

"Dempsey's comments don't compute with statements made by the White House spokesman with regards to the strength of the relationship between Israel and the US," he added. "Israel needs to maintain its right to defend itself, it is the right thing to do and Israel will not place its security in the hands of others."

 

Commenting on the reduction in the troop deployment for the joint US-Israel military drill next month Erdan noted that "The reduction stems from the US' internal considerations, this is no signal from the US. This is still the biggest drill ever to be held between the US and Israel."

 

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz also addressed Dempsey's statements: "I really didn't understand his statements, the wording was unfortunate. The strategic relations and defense ties are as strong as ever, the cooperation is good and my contacts in the US haven't heard of any unprecedented crisis."

 

 

 

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