"The world tells Israel: Wait, there's still time. And I say: wait for what? Wait until when?," Netanyahu said
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech before dozens of pupils in the West Bank settlement of Efrat on the first day of the academic year on August 27. The international community cannot ask Israel to keep waiting before acting against Iran if it has not laid down red lines to Tehran over its nuclear programme, Netanyahu said on Tuesday. © Gali Tibbon - AFP/Pool/File
AFP
Last updated: September 11, 2012

Netanyahu defends red lines towards Iran

The international community cannot ask Israel to keep waiting before acting against Iran if it has not laid down red lines to Tehran over its nuclear programme, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

"The world tells Israel: Wait, there's still time. And I say: wait for what? Wait until when?," Netanyahu said.

"Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran, don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," he said in English at a joint meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov.

Diplomacy and sanctions had not worked, and Iran was still progressing towards its objective of building an atomic weapon, he said.

"The fact is that every day that passes, Iran gets closer and closer to nuclear bombs. Now if Iran knows that there is no red line, if Iran knows that there is no deadline, what will it do?

"Exactly what it's doing: it is continuing, without any interference towards obtaining nuclear weapons capability and from there, nuclear bombs," he said.

Over the past week, the Israeli leader has repeatedly driven home the need to lay down a "clear red line" for Iran in order to avoid war.

Israel, the Middle East's sole, if undeclared, nuclear power, says a nuclear Iran would constitute an existential threat for the Jewish state and has refused to rule out a military strike to prevent it from gaining such a capability.

Washington and much of the West also believe Iran is seeking a weapons capability under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, a charge which Tehran denies.

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