Iran a central issue for my next term: Netanyahu

JERUSALEM Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:52pm EST

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pauses during the delivery of joint statements with Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev (not pictured) before their meeting in Jerusalem October 23, 2012. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pauses during the delivery of joint statements with Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev (not pictured) before their meeting in Jerusalem October 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Baz Ratner

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Iran's perceived nuclear threat against Israel will be the central issue concerning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government if he is re-elected in a month's time, the Israeli leader said on Saturday.

Netanyahu has set out a mid-2013 "red line" for tackling Iran's uranium enrichment project. The West says this programme is aimed at developing the means to build atomic bombs. Tehran denies this, saying it is enriching uranium for civilian energy.

"Preventing Iran becoming a nuclear (threat) is, I would say, the central aim in my next term if I earn the confidence of voters," Netanyahu told Israel's Channel 2 in a recorded interview.

Opinion polls have consistently shown Netanyahu's rightist Likud Beiteinu party as the clear front-runner for the January 22 elections, meaning he would be called upon to form a new coalition government.

Since announcing elections on October 9, Netanyahu discussed Iran nuclear programme in public less frequently than he had before setting the "red line" in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 27.

But he told interviewers that he was dealing with the issue on a daily basis.

"There is not a day on which I do not speak to foreign leaders about Iran, this was the case and it remains so," he said. (Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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Comments (6)
MidWestSense wrote:
We now know what the central issue for US will be in 2013. Bibi just said he approves of John Kerry for state department so now we know who the next state department is. If only Bibi would tell us if he approves of Chuck Hagel for defense and so Obama can know if to nominate him or not and senate will know if to oppose him or not.

Dec 22, 2012 4:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
johnnyboone wrote:
A new war in 2013 is the central priority for the right wing settler dominated, aparthaid government of Netanyahu! I think the U.N. priority for 2013 is to begin a boycott of Israeli goods and begin war crimes charges against Netanyahu!!!!!

Dec 22, 2012 4:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fawltybean wrote:
Get lost netanyahu … World will be a better place without a murderer like you . Go join Hitler and Bin Laden, people you belong with – dead or alive.

Dec 22, 2012 8:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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