Israel Stresses “Immediate Steps” for Iran, Obama Urges Diplomacy Ahead of May Talks

April 16, 2012 9:00 am 0 comments

Barack Obama with Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office. Photo: Pete Souza.

Exposing a rift with Israel, U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday insisted that the U.S. has not “given anything away” in recently renewed nuclear talks with Iran.

Obama said he believed there was still time for diplomacy. His assessment, delivered at the close of a Latin American summit in Colombia, came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said the U.S. and world powers had given Tehran a “freebie” by agreeing to hold more talks next month.

Netanyahu said the decision to reconvene at a later date means Iran “has got five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation, any inhibition.”

“I think Iran should take immediate steps,” Netanyahu said. “First, stop all enrichment, take out all enrichment material and dismantle the nuclear facility in Qom. I believe that the world’s greatest practitioner of terrorism must not have the opportunity to develop atomic bombs.”

Obama said Iran has “got some of the toughest sanctions that they’re going to be facing coming up in just a few months if they don’t take advantage of these talks.”

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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