Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday urged the international community to set a “red line” to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and said he would continue to work with the Obama administration on “charting a path forwards”.
“At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs, and thats by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.” he told the UN General Assembly.
Netanyahu warned world leaders they were running out of time to stop Iran from enriching uranium at levels that would allow for the production of a bomb. He argued that a “red line” should be drawn before Iran reaches the second stage of medium enrichment, which he said could happen as early as next spring or summer. He made his point using a diagram shaped like a cartoon bomb.
“The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program because the enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target.” he told the General Assembly.“And I believe that faced with a clear red line Iran will back down.”
In a speech that seemed geared towards an American audience, Netanyahu invoked US President John F Kennedy’s policies during the Cuban Missile crisis as an example of setting a “red line” to prevent greater conflict.
“That red line also prevented war and helped preserve the peace for decades.In fact it’s the failure to place red lines that has often invited aggression.” he said.
While the Israeli Prime Minister commended the Obama administration for its leadership in enacting economic sanctions against the Iranian regime, he said financial measures hadn’t stopped Tehran from developing its nuclear capabilities.
“Iran uses diplomatic negotiations as a means to buy time to advance its nuclear program” he said.
Netanyahu added that he appreciated President Obama’s position on Iran and was confident both leaders would find a way to prevent the regime from developing a nuclear weapon.
“Israel is in discussion with the United States over this issue and I am confident we can chart a path forward together.”