JERUSALEM— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to reassure the Israeli people that his positions regarding Iran and the Middle East peace talks have not changed. The prime minister Sunday night delivered his first public address since returning home from a series of meetings with world leaders at the United Nations.
Netanyahu told an audience at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan that the international community should tighten rather than relax economic sanctions against Iran until it completely ends its reported nuclear weapons program.
He said his government is prepared to reach a diplomatic solution with Iran but only one that dismantles Tehran’s capability to build a nuclear weapon, in other words, he said -no centrifuges, no enrichment of uranium and no plutonium reactor.
The Iranian government says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. It is urging the international community to ease sanctions in exchange for concessions such as international supervision of its nuclear program.
Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, told the United Nations General Assembly two weeks ago that nuclear weapons have no place in his country’s security and defense strategies. And he urged world leaders to resist what he called war-mongering pressure groups.
Netanyahu during his trip met with President Obama who told him that the U.S. government wanted to see concrete actions by Iran before it would consider lifting sanctions.