Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed that he may be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
In an interview with NPR's "Morning Edition," Netanyahu said that the election of Rouhani could possibly offer a chance for diplomacy with the leader and he would definitely "consider" meeting with him.
"I don't care about the meeting. I don't have a problem with the diplomatic process," Netanyahu said. Interviewer Steve Inskeep replied by asking him if he was "saying you would meet with him?" Netanyahu then replied: "I haven't been offered. If I'm offered, I'd consider it, but it's not an issue. If I meet with these people I'd stick this question in their face: Are you prepared to dismantle your program completely? Because you can't stay with the [nuclear] enrichment."
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Netanyahu also added that he doubted the more moderate commentary being presented by Tehran and that the people of Iran chose the "least bad" of the candidates in the election. But he still expressed his belief that Rouhani provided "a fake deal" to the Iranian people. Rouhani recently gave a speech to the U.N. that held a greatly different tone than those of the country's previous leader, requesting "prudent moderation" and claiming that Iran needed to provide transparency about it's nuclear program to the international community, reports Reuters. But during his address to the U.N.. General Assembly that followed Rouhani's, Netanyahu described the Iranian President's words as both a "ruse" and a carefully crafted "ploy."
Though the country has continually stated that it's nuclear program exists for non combative purposes, leaders from the U.S., Israel and other Western countries have questioned the validity of this claim. Netanyahu again expressed his disapproval of Iran's nuclear enrichment program, saying that enriching uranium isn't necessary for Iran to use it for nuclear energy or medical technology.
"The reason they insist on enrichment is because they want to maintain the path to nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said.
But when questioned by Inskeep why Israel is able to maintain nuclear weapons while Iran isn't -- a question he said he hears often during his travels in Arab countries -- Netanyahu stood firm on his reasoning that history plays a key role in the wary eye placed on Iran.
"We'll I'm not going to say what Israel has or doesn't, but I will say Israel has no designs to destroy anyone; we've not called for the destruction of a people, the annihilation of Iran or any other country," said Netanyahu. "If we've learned anything from the history of the 20th century and not only from the 20th century, is that a regime with unbridled, radical ambitions should not get awesome power, because once they do, they will unleash it."
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