Netanyahu, Obama to meet during U.N. assembly

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will discuss stopping Iran’s nuclear program at a meeting with President Barack Obama later this month during the United Nations General Assembly, he told his Cabinet Sept. 17.

Until Iran actually halts its nuclear program, “the pressure on Iran must be increased and not relaxed, and certainly not eased,” Netanyahu said.

The German newspaper Der Spiegel reported on Sept. 16 that Iran was willing to close its uranium enrichment facility at Fordo under international supervision in return for an easing of Western sanctions.

In addition, U.S. officials have suggested that the Obama administration would be willing to ease or lift some sanctions on Iran in return for progress in talks on stopping the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, which the West believes is for making weapons but Iran says is for peaceful purposes.

Netanyahu outlined four steps needed in order for Iran’s nuclear program to be considered stopped: halting all uranium enrichment, removing all enriched uranium, closing Fordo, and ending plutonium enrichment.

“Israel must continue to build up its strength so that it will always be able and ready to defend itself by itself against any threat,” he said. — jta