News / Middle East

Israeli PM Urges no Let-up in World Pressure on Iran After Vote

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, June 16, 2013.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, June 16, 2013.
Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Sunday for no relaxation of international pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear efforts after the election of a new president widely hailed as a moderate.
    
Netanyahu said it was Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and not the newly elected president, Hassan Rohani, who set a nuclear policy that has been challenged by tough economic sanctions and the prospect of military action.
    
"The international community must not give in to wishful thinking or temptation and loosen the pressure on Iran for it to stop its nuclear program," the right-wing Netanyahu told his cabinet, according to a statement released by his office.
    
But Israeli President Shimon Peres, gave a different assessment of possible change in nuclear activities that Israel and the West fear are directed towards developing atomic bombs. Iran says its is enriching uranium for peaceful purposes only.
    
Asked if Rohani, a former nuclear negotiator with world powers, would alter the course of the nuclear program, Peres told Reuters, "He said he will not go for these extreme policies. I am not sure he specified his policies. But it will be better, I am sure, and that is why the people voted for him."
    
A Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Peres holds a largely ceremonial position and has little influence on decision-making in Israel. But his comments added to a burgeoning debate among Israelis over the meaning of Rohani's surprise victory.
    
"It [the result] surprised all the experts and all the prophets, and this is really intriguing. Why? Because apparently there are hidden forces and strengths that were unseen or underestimated," Peres said.
    
Ephraim Halevy, a former head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, said on Israel Radio that Rohani's election "is the biggest failure Khamenei has suffered since coming to power."
    
The poll's outcome, Halevy said, was an expression of the Iranian people's "anger and frustration" over the effect of  international sanctions that have hit them hard as a result of Khamenei's nuclear policy.
    
Netanyahu, however, said Israelis "are not deluding ourselves" in the wake of Rohani's election.
    
"Iran will be judged by its actions," he said. "If it continues to insist on developing its nuclear program, the answer must be clear - to stop it by any means."
    
Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East's only atomic power, has signaled it could take military action against Iran if international sanctions and diplomacy fail to bring about a change in its nuclear policy.
    
The United States, Israel's main ally, has cautioned against any go-it-alone attack and said time remains for peaceful efforts to persuade Iran to change course.
    
"The greater the pressure on Iran, the greater the chance of bringing a halt to the Iranian nuclear program, which remains the greatest threat to world peace," Netanyahu said.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid