Benjamin Netanyahu: “Time is running out”
The Daily Banter headline grab (from the Guardian):
Time is running out for the international community to halt Iran‘s nuclear programme by peaceful means, the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, told US defence secretary Leon Panetta in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Sanctions, diplomacy and declarations of a willingness to take military action as a last resort had not yet convinced the Iranians to stop their programme, he said. “However forceful our statements, they have not convinced Iran that we are serious about stopping them. Right now the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear programme.”
Netanyahu said earlier that although sanctions were hurting the Iranian economy, such measures had “yet to move its nuclear programme even a millimetre backwards”.
Panetta is the fourth senior US administration official to visit Israel in recent weeks as concern has mounted in Washington that Netanyahu is preparing the ground for a military strike in the coming months.
In an attempt to reassure Israel – and counter the robust support for military action pledged by presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney in Jerusalem earlier this week – Panetta told the prime minister: “We will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, period. We will not allow them to develop a nuclear weapon, and we will exert all options in the effort to ensure that that does not happen.”