Netanyahu asks int`l community to keep up pressure on Iran

Last Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 19:00

Jerusalem: Facing isolation over the Iranian nuclear issue, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appealed to the international community to keep up the pressure on Tehran, warning that "there is a danger" that the Geneva talks will grant legitimacy to the "rogue regime".

Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 in Geneva might "give legitimacy to a rogue regime that is participating in the massacre in Syria, is directing a global terror campaign, and calls for the destruction of Israel."

The right attitude in the face of this regime should be to respect it, suspect it and pressure it, he added.

"We must not forget that the Iranian regime has systematically deceived the international community in the past," he said, adding, "As long as we do not see acts, international pressure must continue."

As the pressure increases, the chance that Iran will abandon its nuclear programme also increases, he said.

The two intense days of nuclear talks in Geneva ended on Wednesday, with senior US officials describing them as the most meaningful and serious negotiations ever conducted with the Iranian leadership.

Daily Ha`aretz quoted a high-ranking Israeli official who was briefed on the talks as saying that Iran`s proposal at Geneva, though general and open to question, indicated its willingness to scale back its uranium enrichment program and discuss issues it had previously rejected out of hand.

US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, who led the US delegation to the talks, called Israel`s National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror on Thursday and briefed him on the substance of the talks, Ha`aretz reported.

Members of the British delegation who participated in the talks came straight to Israel from Geneva for talks with their Israeli colleagues. The British delegation met with Israel`s Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz?and other top Israel officials on Friday, the paper said.

Senior French and German officials reportedly spoke by phone with their Israeli counterparts about the talks. Steinitz is due to head a delegation of senior Foreign Ministry and Defence figures on a visit to US later this week.

Iran is expected to be the main item on the agenda of the meetings that the delegation is scheduled to hold with a team headed by US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.

In the midst of what many see as warming ties between the West and Iran, Netanyahu last week in an interview stuck to his stand of pressurising Iran with sanction to foil its nuclear ambitions saying he doesn`t mind isolation.

During the interview, Netanyahu reportedly pointed to two photos above his desk in his Jerusalem office, British WWII leader Sir Winston Churchill and the founding father of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, and said,?"They were alone a lot more than I am."

PTI

First Published: Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 19:00

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