Israel's prime minister attacked the international community yesterday for failing to set Iran a "red line" over its nuclear weapons programme in a speech seen as a direct intervention in the US elections.
Benjamin Netanyahu, embroiled in a major domestic dispute over whether Israel should go it alone with an attack on Iran to delay or destroy its nuclear sites, suggested it was policies in the United States and Europe that had allowed Tehran to push its programme further ahead with impunity.
"I believe the truth must be stated: the international community is not placing a clear red line for Iran and Iran does not see international resolve to stop its nuclear programme," he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. "Unless Iran sees this clear red line and this clear resolve it will not stop moving forward with its nuclear programme, and Iran must not have nuclear weapons."
Although he did not mention the United States by name, his vice prime minister, Moshe Yaalon, did so when making similar comments on Friday and more significantly Mr Netanyahu's message meshed with that presented in the foreign policy segment of Mitt Romney's presidential nomination acceptance speech to the Republican convention this week.
Mr Romney said that Mr Obama's attempts to engage with Iran meant "the centrifuges are still spinning".
Israeli websites immediately identified Mr Netanyahu's words yesterday as directed at Mr Obama, and in part a response to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, who said this week he did not want to be "complicit" in a unilateral attack.
Mr Netanyahu referred to last week's report by the International Atomic Energy Agency which highlighted speeded up uranium enrichment in Iran's programme, though the Iranians continue to insist they have no intention of turning the product into weapons.
"This becomes even more serious in light of the IAEA report which confirmed what I've been saying for a long time: sanctions may be a burden but they do not delay the progress of the nuclear programme," Mr Netanyahu said.----
In: World News, Politics, Iran, Other Middle East
Tags: israel, usa, europe, iran, tensions, war, nuclear
Location: Israel (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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