Netanyahu in Prague
Photo: AFP

Netanyahu skeptical Iran would end nuclear program

Prime minister says diplomatic solution would be best option, but sees 'no evidence whatsoever that Iran is ready to end its nuclear program'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is skeptical that Iran will agree to halt its nuclear program.


Just days ahead of a crucial round of nuclear talks with Tehran, Netanyahu says a diplomatic solution would be the best option but "I see no evidence whatsoever that Iran is ready to end its nuclear program."


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The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany are gearing up for a May 23 meeting with Iran in Baghdad.


Israel says a nuclear weapon in the hands of Iran would threaten the Jewish state's survival.

Speaking in Prague Friday, Netanyahu called it "the paramount issue of our time."


Speaking briefly after meeting Czech President Vaclav Klaus in Prague, Netanyahu called the Iranian nuclear program "the paramount issue of our time."


He repeated Israeli demands to be met for the negotiations to be successful: all uranium enrichment inside Iran has to be frozen, its current stockpile of enriched uranium has to be shipped out of the country and an underground enrichment facility near the city of Qom has to be dismantled.


"When this is achieved, I'm the first one to applaud. But until then, you have to count me among the skeptics," Netanyahu said.


Netanyahu did not present any ultimatums, but Israeli officials have said time is running out to avoid military action. Also the US has said it has plans in place to attack Iran if necessary to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.


In Prague, Netanyahu accused Iran of using the talks just to "buy time, pretty much as North Korea did for years," going "from meeting to meeting with empty promises."


"It looks as though they see the talks as another opportunity to delay and deceive and buy time, pretty much as North Korea did for many years," he said.


"Iran is very good in playing this kind of chess game, and you know sometimes you have to sacrifice a pawn to save the king." 


Reuters contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 05.18.12, 12:15
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