Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sounded an urgent note regarding the Iranian threat in a Monday interview on America's ABC network, saying that “we have a lot less time with each day that passes.”
“And the crucial thing,” he said, “is to use the time available for forceful international action led by the United States. If you can, go through the [UN] Security Council. If you can't, go outside the Security Council.”
“I spoke with President Obama when he was Senator Obama,” he said on the morning news show, Good Morning America. “He visited Israel. And I was the leader of the Opposition at… that time. And I said… if he gets elected President... all the issues that will flood his desk will one day be pushed aside by one overriding issue. And that is if Iran attempts to develop atomic bombs. Because they could very well either use it or threaten to use it or threaten to give it to terrorists or even give them a crude device with fissionable material that can be put in a container ship. And this could come to Manhattan or to any port in the United States or in Europe or, for that matter, in Israel.”
'A minimal requirement'
The international community can deliver “crippling sanctions” against Iran, he said. “If you stop … Iran from importing refined petroleum, that's a fancy word for gasoline,” Netanyahu explained, “then Iran simply doesn't have refining capacity and this regime comes to a halt. I think that's crippling sanctions. Now if the UN Security Council doesn't pass it because they'll dilute the resolution to get acquiescence of their members, then certainly the United States and other willing partners in the international community can... enforce these sanctions outside the Security Council. There is a way to deliver these crippling sanctions. This should be done now.”
“I think this is a minimal requirement right now,” he added. The point was “not really to send [Iran] messages," he said, “but to actually make this regime begin to make choices. Because right now they feel they don't have to make choices. They understand that the spotlight is on them but they're not doing anything. And the critical thing is I think there's an understanding in Washington, certainly in Jerusalem and quite a few other capitals in the world, that very forceful action has to be taken to make Iran stop. I think the future of peace in the world and of stability and security is at stake.”
Asked if he was worried that war could break out this summer, the prime minister said: “If it's up to us, there won't be any war." Iran, he added, is trying to create tensions through Hizbullah, “probably to deflect the world's attention from Iran's advancement and its plan to develop nuclear weapons.”