WASHINGTON (JTA) — A diplomatic solution to tensions with Iran must “dismantle” its capacity to develop nuclear weapons, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response to President Obama’s U.N. address.
Following Obama’s authorization of engagement with the Islamic Republic in his speech Tuesday to the General Assembly, Netanyahu responded in a 59-second video posted on YouTube.
“Israel will welcome a genuine diplomatic solution that truly dismantles Iran’s capacity to develop nuclear weapons, but we will not be fooled by half measures that merely provide a smokescreen for Iran’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and the world will not be fooled either,” Netanyahu said in the video.
Netanyahu began by welcoming Obama’s call for Iran’s recent “conciliatory words” to be “matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable.”
However, Netanyahu’s insistence on dismantling any Iranian nuclear capacity could signal a major difference with the Obama administration as the U.S. engagement with Iran advances.
Israel has insisted on ending any Iranian capacity to enrich uranium, while the United States and other Western nations reportedly are ready to accommodate enrichment at low levels of up to 5 percent.
In the video, Netanyahu said he would discuss the issue with Obama when they meet next week at the White House.