JERUSALEM — Signaling a deepening dispute with Washington over issuing ultimatums for Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that those who won’t make such demands on Tehran “don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”
In a blistering response to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s statement that the United States is “not setting deadlines” for Iran and that negotiations coupled with sanctions are the best approach, Netanyahu said that if no “red line” is established for Iran, it will continue pursuing an atomic bomb.
“The sanctions have hurt the Iranian economy, but they haven’t stopped the Iranian nuclear program. That’s a fact,” Netanyahu said at a news conference with the visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
“And the fact is that every day that passes, Iran gets closer and closer to nuclear bombs,” Netanyahu added. “The world tells Israel: ‘Wait. There’s still time.’ And I say: ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”
The Obama administration is arguing for more time for diplomacy and sanctions.