Sunday, September 16, 2012

Iran on brink of nuclear bomb in six-seven months: Netanyahu

    Sunday, September 16, 2012   No comments


Iran
(Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday that Iran was just six to seven months away from being able to build a nuclear bomb, adding urgency to his demand that President Barack Obama set a clear "red line" for Tehran in what could deepen the worst U.S.-Israeli rift in decades.

Taking to the television airwaves to make his case directly to the American public, Netanyahu said that by mid-2013, Iran would be 90 percent of the way toward enough enriched uranium for a bomb. He urged the United States to spell out limits that Tehran must not cross if it is to avoid military action - something Obama has refused to do.

"You have to place that red line before them now, before it's too late," Netanyahu told NBC's "Meet the Press" program, saying that such a U.S. move could reduce the chances of having to attack Iran's nuclear sites.

The unusually public dispute - coupled with Obama's decision not to meet with Netanyahu later this month - has exposed a deep U.S.-Israeli divide and stepped up pressure on the U.S. leader in the final stretch of a tight presidential election campaign.

It was the clearest marker Netanyahu has laid down so far on why he has become so strident in his push for Washington to confront Tehran with a strict ultimatum. At the same time, his approach seemed certain to stoke further tensions with Obama, with whom he has had a notoriously testy relationship.


Ed Isr

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