Washington: The US and Israel have agreed to maintain close consultation and cooperation on the Iranian issue to achieve their shared goal of preventing Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York and had an in-depth discussion on Iran.
The meeting was held after Netanyahu in his address to the UN General Assembly in New York drew a red line for Iranian uranium enrichment programme.
His one-on-one meeting with Clinton in New York lasted for 75 minutes, a Senior State Department official said.
"They had an in-depth discussion on Iran, and reaffirmed that the United States and Israel share the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. They agreed that we will continue our close consultation and cooperation toward achieving that goal," the official said.
"They discussed regional developments and the peace process. It was an open, wide-ranging constructive conversation," the Senior State Department official said.
Soon after Netanyahu's speech in New York, Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate came out in his support.
"I join in Prime Minister Netanyahu's call for a Middle East of progress and peace. And I join his urgent call to prevent the gravest threat to that vision, a nuclear-armed Iran," he said.
"I, like the rest of the American people, applaud the bravery of the people of Israel and stand with them in these dangerous times. The designs of the Iranian regime are a threat to America, Israel, and our friends and allies around the world," Romney said.
Supporting the demand of Netanyahu, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that Iran must be stopped, before it goes nuclear.
"I stand with our steadfast ally, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and urge all responsible nations to stand with us against a nuclear Iran. The US cannot alone impose the crippling sanctions that are needed to stop the nightmare of a nuclear Iran from becoming a reality," she said.
"Prime Minister Netanyahu's frustration is underscored by the UN's own inertia. Prominent members of the Iranian regime call for Israel's destruction almost daily, Ahmadinejad himself called for Israel's elimination at a UN meeting on the 'rule of law' this week," Ros-Lehtinen said.
"Yet, even as the IAEA provides a continuous stream of evidence of Iran's march towards a nuclear weapons capability in violation of UN sanctions, UN has remained silent, with no real repercussions for the Iranian regime's transgressions," she added.
"No longer can Iran be allowed to slip through the cracks. All sanctions measures must be fully enforced, no exceptions. Otherwise, by next year's General Assembly, the world may well be a much more dangerous place for the people of America, Israel, and all free nations," Ros-Lehtinen said.
First Published: Friday, September 28, 2012, 14:44