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January 11, 2013 9:26 am

Netanyahu to U.S. Senators: Top Priority if Re-Elected Will be to Stop Iran

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Natanz Nuclear Facility. Photo: Hamed Saber.

In a meeting Friday with U.S. senators Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that Iran will be at the top of his agenda if he retains his post following elections at the end of the month.

“My priority, if I’m elected for a next term as Prime Minister, will be first to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. I think that was and remains the highest priority for both our countries. I appreciate the American support and your support for that end,” he said.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who led the group of senators, offered this reply: “As everybody in Israel knows, there are a lot of things we disagree on in America, we’ve had big battles over deficit and debt, but there’s broad bi-partisan support for Israel, and our agenda in this part of the world is the same as your agenda. You’re one of our best friends and we’re happy to continue that relationship.”

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Officials in Iran have acknowledged in recent weeks that a devoted international effort to isolate the country through sanctions has begun to take a toll on its economy. Yet Iran has shown no signs of curbing its nuclear aspirations.

World leaders have thus far declined to set a red line on Iran, but last week Netanyahu said that he believes that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down. “And this will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons program altogether,” he added.

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