Netanyahu: Iran seeks nuclear arsenal of 200 bombs

In 'Washington Post' interview, premier rejects importance of Rohani win, says he's ready to engage in talks with Palestinians.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
June 22, 2013 02:38
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Netanyahu at the President's Conference in Jerusalem, June 20, 2013.

Netanyahu at President's Conference 370. (photo credit: GPO)

 
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Iran seeks to build an arsenal of 200 atomic bombs, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned in an interview with The Washington Post Thursday.

Netanyahu told the prestigious American daily that the election of Hassan Rohani had no impact on the country’s nuclear program since it was Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s intention to continue efforts to amass atomic weapons.

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“He remains committed to pursuing the path of arming Iran with nuclear weapons, and I’m afraid the elections are not going to change that,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying.

The premier said that Khamenei engineered Rohani’s victory in the presidential elections since both men are in full agreement regarding the need for Iran to develop nuclear arms.

“Rohani used to be the national security adviser of Iran and the former nuclear negotiator,” the prime minister told The Washington Post. “He’s the author of a doctrine — I call this doctrine ‘talk and enrich.’ He wrote the book on it.”

“We can’t let the Iranian regime play this game. They play for time. They continue to enrich. They broaden the base of their nuclear program. What Iran is seeking is not one or two bombs but 200 bombs.”

Netanyahu said that he is ready to fully participate in the latest peace push touted by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

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"If Secretary Kerry, whose efforts we support, were to pitch a tent halfway between [Jerusalem] and Ramallah, I’m in it, I’m in the tent," Netanyahu told the paper. "And I’m committed to stay in the tent and negotiate for as long as it takes to work out a solution of peace and security between us and the Palestinians."

The premier accused the Palestinians of using the settlements as an excuse to avoid talks and evade recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, which he said was a basic requirement for peace.

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