Netanyahu urges West to remain firm on Iran sanctions

Premier returns from important US trip, says he will take case for keeping up pressure on Iran to European leaders next week.

October 4, 2013 17:58
1 minute read.
PM Netanyahu with PBS' Charlie Rose

PM Netanyahu with PBS' Charlie Rose 370. (photo credit: GPO / Kobi Gideon)


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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday urged the West to resist temptation to ease sanctions against Iran before the Islamic Republic has agreed to shut down its nuclear activities.

"Next week I will meet with leaders of European countries and I will speak with other world leaders," the premier said upon landing in Israel on Friday following his trip to the United States.

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"I will emphasize the fact that the sanctions on Iran can achieve the desired result if they are continued. The world must not be tempted by the Iranian stratagem into easing sanctions as long as the Iranians do not dismantle their military nuclear program."

Before his departure, Netanyahu told NPR on Thursday that he would "consider" meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

"I haven't been offered [to meet Rouhani]. If I'm offered, I'd consider it, but it's not an issue. If I meet with these people I'd stick this question in their face: Are you prepared to dismantle your program completely? Because you can't stay with the [nuclear] enrichment," Netanyahu told Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.

The NPR interview was one of eight high-profile interviews that Netanyahu gave to American media since his speech on Tuesday at the UN, where he slammed Rouhani and vowed that Israel would take action alone, if necessary, to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

In addition to Inskeep, there were interviews over the past two days with BBC’s Persian language service, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, the Hispanic Univision network, CNN, Fox News, PBS/CBS and one of Sunday’s major political talk shows.The prime minister warned that Iran is developing missiles that can reach the US East Coast.

"They only have one purpose: nuclear payloads. And, by the way, not for us [Israel]. They have missiles that can reach [Israel]. Those ICBM missiles, projectiles, are for you, to reach the Eastern seaboard of the United States, which they'll do in a few years," Netanyahu asserted.

He said Rouhani is offering the West a "fake deal" on Tehran's nuclear program in return for a relief in sanctions.

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