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PM: World has no right to give Israel a 'red light'
By HERB KEINON AND JPOST.COM STAFF
09/11/2012
Netanyahu charges that those unwilling to set red lines on Iran should not stop Israeli action; former IDF chief Ashkenazi says strong US ties a "security necessity"; MK Danon calls Clinton's Iran stance a "slap in the face."
 
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said that the world has "no moral right" to put a "red light" in front of Israel if it refuses to set a "red line" for Iran.

Speaking ahead of a government to government meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Metodiev Borisov in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, "Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines in front of Iran, don't have a moral right to put a red light in front of Israel. They must understand that there is a red line so they stop."

"So far we can say with certainty that diplomacy and sanctions have not worked," Netanyahu continued. "The sanctions have hurt the Iranian economy, but have not stopped the Iranian nuclear program. That is a fact."

The comments came in response to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comments that the United States will not set a deadline for Iran, and that negotiations remain "by far" the best option for stopping its nuclear program.

“We’re watching very carefully about what they do, because it’s always been more about their actions than their words,” Clinton said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio.

Netanyahu reiterated his position that diplomacy and sanctions have not yielded concrete results.

"The fact is that every day that passes, Iran gets closer and closer to nuclear bombs," he said. "If Iran knows that there are no red lines, if Iran knows that there are no deadlines, what will it do? Exactly what it is doing. It is continuing without interference toward nuclear capability and nuclear bombs."

"The world tells Israel 'Wait, there is still time.' And I say 'Wait for what? Wait until when?'" the prime minister said.

In an apparent reference to the public spat between the United States and Israel, former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told the Calcalist conference on Tuesday that preserving strong ties with the United States is an Israeli security necessity.

"We must preserve ties with the United States. I believe this is a security necessity," he said.

In the past three years, he noted, US taxpayers have contributed more to the Israeli defense budget than Israeli taxpayers.

Adding to the public spat between the allies, Likud MK Danny Danon reprimanded Clinton on Tuesday for her position, calling it a "slap in the face" to Israel and lecturing her on the significance of the issue on the anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks.

"Your words on not setting red lines for the Iranians are are a slap in the face to the State of Israel," Danon wrote in an urgent dispatch to Clinton.

"This irresponsibility in handing the Iranian issue is dangerous to the Western world. On the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, there is a need to issue clear lines to the Iranians, who are threatening the entire Western world," he continued.

Danon is in Washington promoting his new book, Israel: The Will to Prevail, which is highly critical of US President Barack Obama. The timing of the book's release during the run-up to the US presidential election has raised eyebrows among some US politicians, who view it as interference in American domestic politics.
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