Netanyahu on ‘Face the Nation’: ‘I won’t wait until it’s too late’ on Iran

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Iran will not be allowed to cross the red line set by Israel with regard to its nuclear capability, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on “Face the Nation.”

“They’re not there yet. They’re getting closer,” Netanyahu told Bob Schieffer, the host of the CBS News program. “They should be — they should understand that they are not going to be allowed to cross it.”

“I won’t wait until it’s too late” to act, the Israeli leader said, adding, “We have our eyes fixed on Iran. They have to know that we’re serious.”

Netanyahu said he and President Obama have spoken “many times” about the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

But, Netanyahu qualified, “our clocks are ticking in a different pace. We’re closer than the United States. We’re more vulnerable. And therefore we’ll have to address this question of how to stop Iran, perhaps before the United States does. But as the prime minister of Israel, I’m determined to do whatever is necessary to defend my country, the one and only Jewish state, from a regime that threatens us with renewed annihilation.”

Netanyahu called the U.S. discussion of cutting off military aid to Egypt while it is under an interim military government “an internal American decision.”

‘We’ve been concerned with one thing: That is the maintenance of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty,” he said. “It’s been — it’s been the cornerstone of peace between us and our neighbors, and it’s also been the cornerstone of stability in the Middle East.”

Netanyahu said the Israeli government has maintained “formal contacts” with the Egyptian government throughout the last two years, “and including now.”

Asked about reports circulating Sunday that Israel was responsible for an attack earlier this month on a Syrian missile warehouse, Netanyahu responded, “Every time something happens in the Middle East, Israel is accused.”

He added, “I’m not in the habit of saying what we did or we didn’t do. I’ll tell you what my policy is. My policy is to prevent the transfer of dangerous weapons to Hezbollah and other terror groups, Hezbollah in Lebanon and other terror groups as well. And we stand by that policy.”

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