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Netanyahu pushes Iran isolation

Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. presidential candidates and top officials to encourage the isolation of Iran. Netanyahu met Thursday with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), a leading candidate for her party’s presidential candidacy, and Fred Thompson, a former Tennessee senator who is set to announce his bid for the Republican candidacy, as well as Vice President Dick Cheney. On Wednesday, acting at the Israeli government’s behest, Netanyahu also met with New York state officials to encourage divestment moves underway there, and spoke on the phone with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger about that state’s efforts toward divestment. Netanyahu said he encouraged such measures as well as criminal charges against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, for speeches calling for an end to Israel. Even if the measures do not force the Iranians to end their nuclear program, Netanyahu said, they help ready the public for the possibility of military confrontation. “All these pressures prepare public opinion for the possibility of action,” he said. Netanyahu also promoted his recent proposal to bring Jordanian troops into the West Bank to assist Palestinian moderates in quelling Islamist violence.