Netanyahu: Iran shortening time needed to cross ‘red line’ on nukes


JERUSALEM (JTA) – Iran is working to "shorten the time" it will take to cross the red line in its nuclear fuel enrichment, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told American Jewish leaders.

Netanyahu told a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Monday night in Jerusalem that he looked forward to President Obama’s Israel trip in March and reaffirmed his commitment to a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

The prime minister said that Iran had yet to cross the “red line” in its nuclear fuel enrichment that would necessitate an attack on its enrichment facilities, but that Iran is working to “shorten the time it will take them to cross that line.”

“This has to be stopped in the interests of peace and security,” he said. “You have to upgrade the sanctions, and we have to know if sanctions and diplomacy fail that [Iran] will face a credible military threat.”

Aside from Iran, Netanyahu said the two major security threats facing Israel are from the stockpile of chemical weapons in Syria, which could fall into the hands of terrorists, as well as the ongoing diplomatic stalemate with the Palestinians.

He called for “two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state. I think to reach this solution we have to negotiate in good faith. Negotiating in good faith means you don’t place preconditions.”

Netanyahu said that Obama’s visit is “a wonderful opportunity to reaffirm the strategic relationship between Israel and the United States.”

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