ISRAELI PM CONSIDER MEETING WITH IRANIAN PRESIDENT

         Tel Aviv , 28 Dul Qo’idah 1434 / 4 October 2013 ( MINA ) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said he would “consider” a meeting with Iran’s President Hassan Rowhani although no such offer had been made, he would consider it, but it’s not an issue.

         “If I meet with these people, I’d stick this question in their face: Are you prepared to dismantle your [nuclear] program completely? Because you can’t stay with the enrichment,” he said. Iran is building long-range missiles that could reach the United States, Netanyahu said.

          “They only have one purpose: nuclear payloads,” he said, adding that Iran would be capable of doing this “in a few years.” Rowhani’s willingness to negotiate on Iran’s nuclear program in return for a reprieve from sanctions was a “fake deal,” Netanyahu said.

          “What he wants to do is to relieve the sanctions, but advance the program,” Netanyahu added. “I don’t know why Iran wants it [nuclear energy] because it’s swimming with not only oil but natural gas; for the next 200 years it will suffice for all their energy needs.

          The reason they insist on enrichment is because they want to maintain the path to nuclear weapons. “Countries that want just civilian nuclear energy do not have heavy water for plutonium and do not have centrifuges for enrichment,” he added.

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          Netanyahu’s interview is one of eight that he has recently given to American media since his speech on Tuesday at the United Nations, where he criticized Rowhani and said Israel would do all it could to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, Alarabiya reported as monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).

          Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed a charm offensive by Iran’s new president as a ruse concocted by a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and declared that Israel was ready to stand alone to deny Tehran an atomic weapon.

          In a combative address to the U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu assailed the trustworthiness of Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s centrist president who has made diplomatic overtures to the United States and spoke by telephone last week with President Barack Obama.

          “Rouhani doesn’t sound like Ahmadinejad,” Netanyahu said, referring to Rouhani’s hardline predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose annual U.N. addresses were stridently anti-Western and anti-Israel.

           “But when it comes to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the only difference between them is this: Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing, Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community,” Netanyahu said.

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            “This is a ruse,” Netanyahu added. “It’s a ploy.”

            Netanyahu’s address, the last at this year’s gathering of world leaders in New York, reflected Israeli worries that the emerging signs of what could become a U.S.-Iranian rapprochement might lead to a premature easing of international sanctions and military threats designed to deny Iranthe means to make a bomb.

           “Don’t let up the pressure,” Netanyahu said, adding that the only deal that could be made with Rouhani was one that “fully dismantles Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”

            The United States, Israel and other countries accuse Iran of using its nuclear program to try to develop the capability to produce weapons. Iran says the program is for peaceful energy purposes only. During his General Assembly speech last week, Rouhani said nuclear weapons “have no place in Iran’s security and defense doctrine, and contradict our fundamental religious and ethical convictions.

            The Israeli leader referred to Rouhani’s 1989-2003 tenure as the head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, a time when he said Iranian “henchmen” killed opposition leaders in Berlin, 85 people at a Jewish center in Buenos Aires and 19 U.S. soldiers in a bomb attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.

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            “Are we to believe that Rouhani, the national security adviser of Iran at the time, knew nothing about these attacks?” Netanyahu said. “Of course he did, just as 30 years ago Iran’s security chiefs knew about the bombings in Beirut that killed 241 American Marines and 58 French paratroopers.”

           Netanyahu made clear that Israel, believed to possess the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal, was prepared to resort to unilateral military action against Iran if it deems diplomacy a dead end.

          “I want there to be no confusion on this point. Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone. Yet in standing alone, Israel will know that we will be defending many, many others,” Netanyahu said.

          The bulk of his speech was about Iran, but he also touched on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, saying the Jewish state was prepared to make a “historic compromise.” He faulted Palestinian leaders for not reciprocating enough. (T/P04/E1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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