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Netanyahu reiterates demand for ‘red lines’ on Iranian nuclear program

PM calls for ‘intensified’ economic sanctions, says the time has come for Europe to declare Hezbollah a terror organization

Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu and Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi in Jerusalem on September 05, 2012. (photo credit: Moshe Milner/ GPO/Flash90)
Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu and Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi in Jerusalem on September 05, 2012. (photo credit: Moshe Milner/ GPO/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday reiterated his call for the international community to set down clear “red lines” for the Iranian nuclear program, which, if crossed, would precipitate a military strike.

“We are facing great challenges; perhaps the greatest challenge that the international community is facing is Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said at the start of a meeting in Jerusalem with Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi.

“I think that the international community must set a clear red line for Iran that it knows it cannot go beyond in its pursuit of nuclear weapons, and I think that as hard as it is, the economic sanctions have to be intensified.”

The prime minister also criticized European reluctance to recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and proxy of Iran.

“We appreciate the efforts that you [the Italians] have made and that others in Europe are making,” he said. “There is one other effort that I think Europe could make to advance the cause of security and peace, and that is to declare Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, a terrorist organization. It is exactly that. It’s the world’s leading terror organization, and Europe could contribute much by declaring it for what it is.”

On Tuesday the prime minister said, “The greater the resolve and the clearer the red line, the less likely we’ll have conflict.”

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