Netanyahu warns against diplomatic path with Iran

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2012 1:23 PM
Netanyahu warns against diplomatic path with Iran

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday ruled out the idea of international talks to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, just as the United States is pursuing a diplomatic tack.

Netanyahu will meet President Barack Obama on Monday to address growing differences between the two leaders over what Washington fears could be an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites.

Obama's preferred policy for now is to use diplomacy and increased sanctions to curb Iran's nuclear program.

"It (Iran) could do again what it has done before, it could pursue or exploit the talks as they've done in the past to deceive and delay so that they can continue to advance their nuclear program and get to the nuclear finish line by running up the clock, so to speak," Netanyahu said in Ottawa after talks with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"I think the international community should not fall into this trap," he told reporters.

In some of his strongest comments yet on Iran, Obama said in an interview published on Friday that "all options are on the table" for dealing with Iran's nuclear plans and added that the final option was the "military component."

The Israeli prime minister also demanded Iran dismantle a nuclear facility near the city of Qom, stop enriching uranium and remove all material enriched above 3.5 percent from the country.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Writing by David Ljunggren and Louise Egan; Editing by Doina Chiacu)