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צילום: חיים צח, לע"מ
Hagel and Netanyahu
Photo: Haim Tzach, GPO
Netanyahu not surprised by UN report on Iran's activities
Israeli PM met with US secretary of defense to discuss Islamic republic's pursuit of nuclear weapons; Hagel: 'American support for Israel at all-time high."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that Israel was not surprised by a confidential UN report on the Iranian ballistic missile program, before a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel for talks on Iran.

 

 

The report claimed that despite a reduction illicit purchases that breach UN sanctions, Iran's development of ballistic missiles posed an acute challenge to six powers negotiating with Tehran to rein in its nuclear program.

 

At a press conference before the meeting with Hagel, Netanyahu stressed that the Islamic republic was deceiving the international community.

 

Hagel and Netanyahu in Jerusalem (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Hagel and Netanyahu in Jerusalem (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

 

"I believe that while the talks with Iran are on-going, one thought must guide the international community: The Ayatollahs must not be allowed to win.

 

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"We cannot allow Iran, leading sponsor of terrorism in these times, to develop the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons," he said.

 

Netanyahu also raised the failed US-led talks between Israel and the Palestinians, citing incitement and anti-Zionist propaganda as a major detriment to the success of any negotiations. But the prime minister reserved much of the blame on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to seek a unity government with Hamas.

 

"Our Palestinian partners are advancing their unity agreement with Hamas, which the US has rightfully designated as a terrorist organization.

 

"It is clear the Palestinians cannot have a pact with Hamas and peace with Israel," he said.

 

During his remarks before the meeting, Secretary Hagel emphasized that "American support for Israel is at an all-time high" and that "America's commitment to Israel's security is resolute."

 

Hagel also reiterated President Barack Obama's "continued commitment to ensuring that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon."

 

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