Netanyahu: Only response to Iran is sanctions, military threat

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Netanyahu also emphasized his close relationships with Democrats and Republicans, and that he has criticized both when he felt their policies were not in Israel’s interests, the source said.

Attending an IAF pilot graduation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (photo credit: ARIEL SCHALIT/POOL))

Attending an IAF pilot graduation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

(photo credit: ARIEL SCHALIT/POOL))

Israel cannot depend on any agreement made with Iran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Thursday.

“We learn from history that if you only rely on an agreement, you’re mistaken,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Channel 13 News. “The only things that will slow or prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon are a credible military threat and hard sanctions.”

Netanyahu’s comments came as US President Joe Biden seeks to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 2015 nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran. Thus far, Biden has said he will not lift the sanctions on Iran applied after the US left the JCPOA in 2018, until after Iran returns to compliance with its restrictions. This week, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran has been enriching uranium up to 20%, far beyond the limit in the nuclear deal, and that Tehran has yet to respond to questions about nuclear materials found at undeclared sites.

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Netanyahu said that in his phone conversation with Biden last week, they spoke a lot about Iran.

“It is my responsibility as the prime minister of the Jewish state to prevent a repeat of the atrocities that happened to our people,” he said. “I will do all I can, all that is within my ability to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”

Earlier Thursday, Netanyahu spoke to a closed call with the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and also emphasized that Israel has the means to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, according to a source in the meeting.

Netanyahu also emphasized his close relationships with Democrats and Republicans, and that he has criticized both when he felt their policies were not in Israel’s interests, the source said.

The prime minister also affirmed his relationship of 40 years with Biden, two call attendees said.

Netanyahu said Israel must be welcoming to all Jews, regardless of their backgrounds, one source said.

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