World Bulletin/News Desk
Speaking in the Oval Office Monday, US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized the need for Iran to meet "their international obligations fully."
In order for the Iranian government to do that, significant actions would need to be taken to match recent overtures from the Islamic Republic.
"Given the statements and actions from the Iranian regime in the past, the threats against Israel, the acts against Israel, it is absolutely clear that words are not sufficient; that we have to have actions that give the international community confidence that in fact they are meeting their international obligations fully and that they are not in a position to have a nuclear weapon," Obama said.
He reiterated his position that years of sanctions on the Iranian government have brought it to the table, saying, "What I also shared with the prime minister is that because of the extraordinary sanctions that we have been able to put in place over the last several years, the Iranians are now prepared, it appears, to negotiate. We have to test diplomacy."
Emphasizing the need to address Iran’s nuclear program, Netanyahu stated that it was the most pressing issue for both nations, calling for "transparent, verifiable, meaningful actions" from Tehran.
"I think of those, the most important challenge is preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. I appreciate deeply the fact that you have made clear that you remain committed to this goal. I also appreciate the statement you made that Iran's conciliatory words have to be matched by real actions -- transparent, verifiable, meaningful actions. Iran is committed to Israel's destruction, so for Israel, the ultimate test of a future agreement with Iran is whether or not Iran dismantles its military nuclear program,” said Netanyahu.
The premier added that the sanctions regime on Iran should not be lifted until such actions are taken, and that any attempt to build upon the nuclear program should be met with increased sanctions.
"I also believe that if diplomacy is to work, those pressures must be kept in place. And I think they should not be lessened until there is verifiable success. And in fact, it is Israel's firm belief that if Iran continues to advance its nuclear program during negotiations, the sanctions should be strengthened."
Negotiations with Palestinians
President Obama again lauded Netanyahu for resuming peace talks with the Palestinians, saying, "I commended him for entering into good-faith negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in discussing how we can resolve what has been obviously one of the biggest challenges for a very long time in the region."
Netanyahu remarked that he hopes the peace talks produce a "secure and lasting peace", and that such a shift would be a "historic transformation".
"I hope that our efforts, our common efforts, would lead to a secure and lasting peace. We know that for peace to endure, it must be based on Israel's capacity to defend itself by itself. And I hope that we can achieve a historic transformation that will give a better future for us and our Palestinian neighbors, and who knows, one day with our other neighbors as well," he said.Last Mod: 01 Ekim 2013, 09:23