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Netanyahu threatens military action if negotiations with Iran fail

February 17, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper has reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is threatening to “act independently” if negotiations between the West and Iran fail. The newspaper quoted Netanyahu as saying that the “best scenario” would be for the Americans to do the job, “but if it became clear” to his government that there would be no results from the international efforts, “we will have no choice but to do what is necessary to protect the Jewish people and the population of the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu was speaking at a meeting in his official residence. Some of those present expressed the view that the Israeli leader questioned the ability of the United States and other countries to reach an agreement with Iran which fulfils Israel’s conditions. The Prime Minister is opposed to the Western proposal that Iran should reduce the level of the enrichment of its uranium, and keep quantities of lower-grade enriched uranium. In Netanyahu’s viewpoint, Iran has to hand over all its enriched uranium, “so as to prevent a situation in which Iran can build the first atomic bomb from the quantities of uranium in its possession”.

In a formal statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu said that Israel reserves the right to work against the Iranian threat. He has not, however, “made a decision yet”.

Touching on the peace process with the Palestinians, Netanyahu said that his immediate focus has to be on “removing the Iranian threat”. Only after achieving this, he added, will he pay attention to resolving the conflict. He stressed that a future agreement with the Palestinians must include keeping the Jordan Valley in Israeli hands to prevent what he claimed was the possibility of Palestinian rockets being able to threaten central Israel.