WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sanctions and diplomacy have not stopped Iran’s nuclear push, and Israel cannot wait much longer for these efforts to succeed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
“I appreciate President Obama’s recent efforts to impose even tougher sanctions against Iran, and these sanctions are hurting Iran’s economy, but unfortunately Iran’s nuclear program continues to march forward,” Netanyahu said in his address Monday evening to the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual policy conference.
“We’ve waited for diplomacy to work, we’ve waited for sanctions to work, none of us can afford to wait much longer. As prime minister of Israel, I will never let my people live in the shadow of annihiliation,” he added.
Netanyahu’s speech came after his meeting earlier in the day with President Obama. In a pre-meeting appearance before reporters with Netanyahu at the White House, Obama said that there was “still a window that allows for a diplomatic resolution” to the Iranian nuclear issue.
Israeli leaders have begun to speak openly of the prospect of a military strike to stop Iran’s suspected nuclear program. Obama and his top officials have endeavored to persuade Israel to give U.S.-led efforts to isolate Iran more time.