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Don`t be `duped` by Iran: Israeli PM Netanyahu to world

Last Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 - 09:13

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday warned the world not to be "duped" by conciliatory remarks and apparently liberalising gestures by Iran`s new President Hassan Rowhani.

The world should "not let itself be duped by the untrustworthy declarations of the Iranian President," Netanyahu said, according to a statement issued by his office.

"This same Rowhani has deceived the international community in the past in discussions over the country`s disputed nuclear programme," an apparent reference to the time when he was Tehran`s chief nuclear negotiator.

Israel, along with the United States and other major world powers, suspects Iran of using its nuclear energy programme as a cover for developing an atomic bomb, allegations Tehran roundly denies.

A series of international sanctions have been slapped on Iran over its refusal to stop enriching uranium, a process that, in more advanced stages, could yield the fissile core of a bomb.

Netanyahu said Iran is "pursuing its nuclear programme. They are engaging in a media campaign while continuing to turn the centrifuges" that enrich the uranium.

In an interview with US television network NBC, Rowhani reached out to the United States, Iran`s long-time foe.

The gesture was seen as part of a cautious game of diplomatic rapprochement as Tehran and Washington -- deadlocked over several key issues including Iran`s controversial nuclear ambitions -- appear to be seeking to resolve their differences.

But he also described Israel as an "occupier" which has brought instability to the Middle East.


First Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 - 09:13
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