Israeli Prime Minister: Iran nearing "red line"

Photo: Israeli Prime Minister: Iran nearing "red line" / Israel

Iran's nuclear programme is nearing "the red line" when action will be necessary, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Monday, telling a US conference that the threat of military action must remain the table, dpa reported.

Sanctions against Iran have so far not stopped its nuclear programme, Netanyahu told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference via videolink.

"It's still not crossed the red line I drew at the United Nations last September, but Iran is getting closer to that red line, and it's putting itself in a position to cross that line very quickly once it decides to do so," he said.

To prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, Netanyahu called for sanctions to be backed with the threat of military action.

"I have to tell you - from the bottom of my heart and with the clarity of my brain - words alone will not stop Iran," he said. "Sanctions alone will not stop Iran. Sanctions must be coupled with a clear and credible military threat, if diplomacy and sanctions fail."

US President Barack Obama is due to visit Israel this month, with Iran's nuclear programme is atop the agenda, along with the Syrian conflict and the Middle East peace process, Netanyahu said.

US Vice President Joe Biden earlier told the annual conference that "all options, including military force, are on the table" to address Iran's nuclear programme.

"We have a shared strategic commitment," Biden said. "Let me make clear what that commitment is: It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, period, end of discussion. Prevent - not contain - prevent."

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