“It makes little difference if these arms are in the hands of the most dangerous terrorist regime or the most dangerous terrorist organization,” he said.
Netanyahu mixed his dark and alarmist tone with some familiar touches of the tried politician he is, at one point pulling out a prop – a simple diagram with a big round bomb topped by a lighted fuse to demonstrate Iran’s progress in stockpiling enriched uranium. He even pulled out a felt pen to draw a sharp red line across the bomb and illustrate his point.
Although he put the world on notice about his “duty” to act “before it’s too late” to protect his country, Netanyahu also highlighted Israel’s cooperation with the United States in confronting Iran and praised Mr. Obama for his categorical refusal of a nuclear Iran from the UN stage this week.
Netanyahu said he appreciated Obama’s declaration that “the threat of a nuclear Iran cannot be contained” and that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable.
The Israeli leader had sought a commitment from Obama to set down red lines for Iran, to let it know the point at which continued progress in its nuclear program would trigger US military action. But Obama refused to go along, saying instead that, while the US will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, he also believes there is still “time and space” for sanctions to constrain Iran.
Obama will speak with Netanyahu by phone Friday, the White House said Thursday. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was scheduled to hold a one-on-one meeting with the Israeli leader in New York Thursday evening.