`Iran moving rapidly towards making an atomic bomb`

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Tehran is moving very rapidly towards producing an atomic bomb.

Last Updated: Sep 17, 2012, 00:19 AM IST

Washington: Emphasising the urgent need of having an international "red line" for Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday claimed that Tehran is moving very rapidly towards producing an atomic bomb.

"I think the issue is how to prevent Iran from completing its nuclear weapons programme. They are moving very rapidly, completing the enrichment of the uranium they need to produce a nuclear bomb. In six months or so they`ll be 90 percent of the way there," Netanyahu told CNN in an interview.

"It is important to place a red line before Iran. That actually reduces the chance of military conflict because if they know there`s a point, a stage in the enrichment or other nuclear activities that they cannot cross because they`ll face consequences, I think they`ll actually not cross it. And that`s been proved time and again," the Israeli Prime Minister said.

"That`s something we should discuss with the United States," he said.
Netanyahu said the Iranian uranium enrichment programme is not legitimate.
"This is a country that denies the holocaust, promises to wipe out Israel, is engaged in terror throughout the world...We know that they`re working towards a weapon. It`s not something that we surmise. We have absolutely certainty about that. And they`re advancing towards that nuclear programme," he asserted.

"Iran is fast approaching a point where it could disappear from our capability of stopping and our capability means not only Israel," he said.

"I think this is a matter of urgency and people should understand it, that`s what`s guiding it. What`s guiding me, contrary to what I have read in the United States, is not the American political calendar, it`s the Iranian nuclear calendar," he said.

Noting that the Iranian centrifuges that are charging ahead simply do not take time out for the American elections, Netanyahu wished the Iranians would shut down the centrifuges and then "we won`t have to talk about it".

"But they don`t. And in fact, they do the very opposite. That`s what`s driving the urgency of this. And again, we have close consultations with the United States on this issue," he said.

"As we face the possibility of a regime that is guided by the fanaticism to have nuclear weapons, it`s become something urgent for all of us to make sure they don`t get there," Netanyahu said.

"If you want to make sure that they don`t get there, make sure that they know that there is a line they shouldn`t cross. Because otherwise, they`ll cross it, and they`ll get there," Netanyahu said.