News / Middle East

Israeli PM: Iran Just Months From Nuclear Capability, Must Be Stopped

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)
x
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)
Michael Bowman
WASHINGTON – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran is just months away from a nuclear-bomb capability, and preemptive military action is preferable to a nuclear-armed Tehran. Meanwhile, U.S. officials continue to insist that existing sanctions may yet convince Iran to change course.
 
Netanyahu told an American television audience Iran is in a final sprint to nuclear-weapons capability.
 
“They are very close. They are six months away from being about 90 percent of having enriched uranium for an atom bomb.”
 
The prime minister spoke on NBC’s Meet the Press program, days after chiding the international community for what he perceives as its failure to set a clear “red line” on Iran’s nuclear program that would trigger a military response. Netanyahu again argued for a more aggressive international military posture towards Tehran, saying preemptive action is the lesser of two evils.
 
“A lot of leaders call me, tell me, ‘Do not do it, it is not necessary. The danger of acting is much greater than not acting.’ And I always say the danger of not acting, in time, is much greater. Because Iran with nuclear weapons would mean that the kind of fanaticism you see storming your embassies would have a nuclear weapon.”
 
The Israeli leader’s position contrasts with that of the Obama administration. Also appearing on Meet the Press was America’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, who said Iran has yet to cross the nuclear-weapons threshold.
 
“They are not there yet.  And our assessment is - and we share this regularly with our Israeli counterparts in the intelligence and defense community - that there is time and space for the pressure we are mounting, which is unprecedented in terms of sanctions, to still yield results. This is not imminent.”
 
Rice noted that international sanctions are taking a heavy toll on Iran’s economy. She said President Barack Obama is committed to preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon, but will exhaust all non-military options before going to war.
 
Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
 
Differences of opinion between the United States and Israel over Iran are being highlighted during the U.S. presidential campaign. 
 
Obama’s Republican Party challenger, former Governor Mitt Romney, has accused the president of throwing Israel “under the bus” [abandoning Israel]. 
 
Asked about the charge of U.S. abandonment of Israel, Netanyahu declined to comment on U.S. presidential politics, but said he believes President Obama is sincere in his determination to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid