Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met US Vice President Joe Biden Sunday evening and relayed to him a severe message regarding Iran's nuclear program, effectively sidelining the issue of the direct peace talks.
"The only way to make sure that Iran does not arm itself with nuclear weapons is to create a credible threat of a military operation against it if it does not cease the race for nuclear armament," a statement from Netanyahu's office said.
"The economic sanctions may be burdening Iran, but there has been no sign from the ayatollah regime that it plans to halt its nuclear program because of this,"
Netanyahu words mark a sharp escalation from his past statements on Iran, which have focused more on the need for diplomatic measures such as harsh economic sanctions, rather than military deterrence.
In his meeting with Biden, Netanyahu insisted that although economic sanctions have made it difficult for Teheran, there is no sign that they have caused the ayatollahs’ regime to halt its nuclear program.
“The only time that Iran stopped its nuclear program was in 2003, and that was when they believed that there was a real chance of an American military strike against them,” Netanyahu told Biden.
“Paradoxically, only a real military threat against Iran can prevent the need to activate a real military force,” the prime minister said.
According to diplomatic sources, Netanyahu said, “Iran is attempting to mislead the West and there are worrying signs that the international community is captivated by this mirage.”