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PM: Iran Must Fully Dismantle Nuke Program

Until then, “the pressure has to be maintained on Iran, even increased,” Netanyahu said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/20/2013, 9:09 PM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that the result of the current negotiations between Western nations and the Iranian regime must be nothing less than “the full dismantling of Iran's military nuclear program.”

Netanyahu responded to a report last week in the New York Times that the Obama administration is considering a proposal to ease economic sanctions on Tehran by giving it access to billions of dollars in frozen funds, in exchange for limited Iranian concessions regarding its nuclear program.

“I think the pressure has to be maintained on Iran, even increased on Iran, until it actually stops the nuclear program, that is, dismantles it,” Netanyahu said. He warned that “any partial deal could end up in dissolving the sanctions” since there are many countries around the world who are “just waiting for a signal to get rid of their sanctions regime” against Iran.

Netanyahu compared the Iranian nuclear weapons problem to that of Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons, which is now beginning to be dismantled after Syria agreed to the process.

“Suppose Syria said, ‘Well, you know, we're going to dismantle 20 percent of it….’” and then expected other nations to ease sanctions because of that. “Nobody would buy that,” the Israeli prime minister said. “That's exactly what Iran is trying to do. They're trying to give a partial deal that they know could end up dissolving the sanctions regime and would keep them with the nuclear weapons capabilities.”

Iranian assets held outside that country that are now frozen, Netanyahu said, were frozen for three reasons. “One, Iran's terrorist actions; two, its aggressive actions particularly in the (Persian) Gulf; and three, its continued refusal to stop the production of weapons of mass destruction. You know, if you get all three done and they stop doing it, well then, I suppose you could unfreeze them,” he told NBC’s David Gregory.