Binyamin Netanyahu at cabinet session
Binyamin Netanyahu at cabinet sessionIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Iran is continuing to progress to the “red line” of nuclear capability, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at a meeting of the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu faction Monday. However, there is still time to stop Tehran from crossing it, Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu was thus publicly disagreeing with former Military Intelligence head Amos Yadlin, who last week said that, for all practical purposes, Iran had already crossed the “red line” that Netanyahu had declared at the United Nations last year would signify that military action was needed against Iran. Tehran, he said, would be ready to deploy a nuclear weapon by the summer.

At the meeting, Netanyahu linked the Iranian issue with other threats facing Israel, including the one posed by Syria. “Syria is falling apart,” Netanyahu said. “New forces are assembling that pose two specific threats – an attack by Syria on the Golan, and the acquisition of Syrian chemical and other advanced weapons by Hizbullah and other terrorist groups.”

Regarding talks with the PA, Netanyahu said that there was no agreement on the horizon, but that he supported a proposal by ministers Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid that any peace deal be brought to the people for a referendum vote. Earlier, the Likud-Yisrael Beteinu's number two, MK Avigdor Lieberman, expressed dissatisfaction with the idea. “I am opposed to referenda in general,” Lieberman told reporters. “I do not like this formula, which allows people to weigh in on serious decisions in a flippant manner.”