United Nations: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told the UN General Assembly to draw a "red line" to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
In a theatrical gesture on Thursday, the Israeli Prime Minister showed a cartoon of a spherical bomb and drew a red line below the fuse, "before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment to make a bomb," he said.
"It's not a question of whether Iran will get the bomb. The question is at what stage we can stop Iran from getting the bomb," said Netanyahu, who also accused Iran of aggression.
"I ask, given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine Iranian aggression with nuclear weapons," the Israeli prime minister said. "Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who would be safe in Europe? Who would be safe in America? Who would be safe anywhere?"
Netanyahu also acknowledged that sanctions against Iran are biting but claimed that they have not deterred Tehran from abandoning its nuclear program. He finally asked the UN to draw "red lines" that would make clear which conditions would provoke an American strike on Iran's nuclear facilities - a demand that Washington has rejected.
Meanwhile, a new Israeli government report leaked to local media yesterday concludes that international sanctions are hitting Iran hard, adding a new wrinkle to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that tougher action is needed to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing nuclear weapons.
The Foreign Ministry report, which surfaced on the same day Netanyahu made his case before the UN General Assembly, added to the cacophony of voices coming out of Israel over the showdown with Iran.
The Prime Minister argues that an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities may be the only answer to what he calls a fanatical and intransigent Iranian leadership.
President Shimon Peres and others want to give punishing measures more time to persuade the Iranians to enter negotiations.
But Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that his country won't be influenced by a threat from Israel and a demand from U.S. President Barack Obama to abandon plans to acquire nuclear weapons.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Friday, September 28, 2012, 09:31