“Well, I can tell you I won’t wait until it’s too late.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu discussed Iran’s nuclear capability and Israel’ possible response during an interview with CBS news reporter Bob Sheiffer on his Sunday morning program “Face the Naton.” The Conference of President’s Daily Alert published this summary of the main points from the transcript of that program.
Schieffer: You said last September that Iran would have the capability to build a nuclear weapon by this summer. It is summer, are they there yet?
Netanyahu: I said if they continue to enrich at the same rate they will get there. They have taken heed of the red line that I sketched out at the UN. They’re still approaching it. …They’re building ICBMs to reach the American mainland within a few years. They’re pursuing an alternate route of plutonium…to build a nuclear bomb. …So they haven’t yet reached it but they’re getting closer to it. And they have to be stopped.
Netanyahu: What really counts is what the Iranians do. And what they have to do is stop their nuclear program. They have to stop all enrichment of nuclear material, to take out enriched uranium, to shut down the illegal nuclear facility in Qom. …You should ratchet up the sanctions and make it clear to Iran that they won’t get away with it. And if sanctions don’t work, then they have to know that you’ll be prepared to take military action. That’s the only thing that will get their attention.
There is a new president in Iran. …His strategy is, be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Smile and build a bomb. He brags about the fact that he talked to the Europeans while completing a nuclear conversion plant in Isfahan. So I think they can’t be allowed to get away with it.”
You know, our clocks are ticking at a different pace. We’re closer than the United States. We’re more vulnerable. And therefore we’ll have to address this question of how to stop Iran, perhaps before the United States does. But as the prime minister of Israel, I’m determined to do whatever is necessary to defend my country, the one and only Jewish state, from a regime that threatens us with renewed annihilation.
So many things are happening in the Middle East, there are many important issues that we have to deal with, and I have a sense that there’s no sense of urgency. And yet Iran is the most important, the most urgent matter of all. …Because all the problems that we have, however important, will be dwarfed by this messianic, apocalyptic, extreme regime that would have atomic bombs.
Schieffer: When will you make a decision on whether to attack Iran, because you have said, this will not stand?
Netanyahu: Well, I can tell you I won’t wait until it’s too late.