Netanyahu Prepares for Meeting With Obama on Iran

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -
Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presides over the weekly cabinet meeting in Yerushalahyim on Tuesday. (Alex Kolomoisky/POOL/FLASH90)
Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presides over the weekly cabinet meeting in Yerushalahyim on Tuesday. (Alex Kolomoisky/POOL/FLASH90)

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Tuesday that halting Iran’s nuclear program will be the focus of his trip to the United States later this month. Netanyahu is expected to meet President Barack Obama on Sept. 30 and deliver an address to the U.N. General Assembly.

On Monday, Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said the chances for a breakthrough have improved thanks to unity among the new Iranian leadership over what it will seek in the next round of negotiations. He did not elaborate. But Iran wants an end to the economic and political sanctions it faces over fears it is progressing to nuclear weapons ability.

Netanyahu, however, urged the world to stand tough and make four key demands, most importantly, that Iran stop enriching uranium — a potential pathway to producing a nuclear weapon.

The other three demands should be that Iran remove its existing stockpile of enriched uranium, close its enrichment facility in the central city of Qom and stop producing plutonium, which can also be used for nuclear arms.

“Until all four of these measures are achieved, the pressure on Iran must be increased and not relaxed, and certainly not eased,” Netanyahu said. He reiterated his belief that all diplomatic efforts must be accompanied by a “credible military threat.”

Netanyahu has said the threat of military action was key to ensuring the success of the new U.S.-Russia plan to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons program. Syria is a close Iranian ally.