NEW YORK (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that his stern warning to stop Iran from going nuclear “reverberates” around the world and could ultimately prevent the Islamic Republic from getting a nuclear bomb.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with his Canadian counterpart, Netanyahu said Iran’s uranium enrichment was the “only discernible and vulnerable part of their nuclear program” and his demand before the United Nations to draw a red line on its process could force Iran to back down.
“I tried to say something yesterday that I think reverberates now around the world,” he said, “and that is to translate the agreement and principle of stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons to practice.”
On Thursday, Netanyahu laid out before the U.N. General Assembly his most detailed plea for global action against Iran, saying the world had until next summer at the latest to stop Iran from getting a bomb.
In his speech, the Israeli leader demonstratively flashed a diagram of a cartoon-like bomb showing the progress Iran has made, pulled out a red marker and drew a line across what he said was a threshold Iran was approaching and which Israel could not tolerate — 90 percent of the way to the uranium enrichment needed to make an atomic bomb.
Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran to be an existential threat, citing Iranian denials of the Holocaust, its calls for Israel’s destruction, its development of missiles capable of striking the Jewish state and its support for hostile Arab militant groups.
Netanyahu has repeatedly argued that time is running out to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power and that the threat of force must be seriously considered. Israeli leaders have hinted they may strike Iran to prevent it from going nuclear.
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