Netanyahu: ‘Clear red line’ needed to stop Iran’s nuclear program

(Sept 27, 2012) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a dramatic speech to the United Nations, employed a simple diagram to hammer home his plea that the international community set a “clear red line” over Iran’s nuclear program warning that a nuclear-armed Iran would be tantamount to a nuclear-armed Al Qaeda. Netanyahu claimed Thursday that Iran would have enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb by next summer. His remarks before the U.N. General Assembly amounted to an appeal to the U.S. and other nations to join Israel in drawing a line that Iran cannot cross without risking a military response. Netanyahu argued that nothing less than the “security of the world” is at stake. “The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program,” Netanyahu said. “I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down.” The prime minister displayed a “diagram” showing a crudely drawn sketch of a bomb, divided into sections representing the three stages of uranium enrichment. Using a marker, Netanyahu drew a red line before the end of the second stage. “Red lines don’t lead to war, red lines prevent war,” he said. “Nothing could imperil the world more than a nuclear-armed Iran.” Netanyahu warned that it would be a “dangerous assumption” to think Iran could be deterred like the former Soviet Union. “Imagine their long-range missiles tipped with nuclear warheads, their terror networks armed with atomic bombs who among you would feel safe in the Middle East?” he said.

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