Netanyahu: The West Has ‘No Moral Right’ To Prevent An Israeli Strike On Iran

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Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks in Jerusalem Tuesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is venting impatience with his allies, repeating his demand that Israel and the West act to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weaponry.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's had said that the United States was "not setting deadlines for Iran." Another statement from State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland argued that the United States should not delineate "red lines" that, should Iran cross them, would necessitate military intervention.

Netanyahu's response was vehement.

"The world tells Israel to wait because there is still time," he said, according to the Telegraph. "And I ask, Wait for what? Until when? Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel."

Netanyahu's statement is in line with a trend of increasingly threats from Jerusalem of a military strike against Iran. 

"In all the wars and peacemaking in Israel's history, there is no issue that has been dealt with in such depth as Iran has," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak last month, according to the Jerusalem Post.

"The decision to attack Iran, should the time come, will be made by the government and not by groups of citizens nor editorials," he added.

There is some debate as to Israel's sincerity; an effective bluff could intimidate Iran, or convince Western powers like the United States to act preemptively on Israel's behalf.

A successful Israeli attack against Iranian nuclear facilities would interrupt, at least temporarily, the Islamic Republic's progress in its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons technology. But it could also set off a catastrophic conflict that would entangle the United States, not to mention anti-Israel groups like Palestine's Hamas, or Lebanon's Hezbollah, and disrupt the world oil supply.

Iran claims that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes like energy and medicine, but Western powers suspect the country is pursuing the development of nuclear warheads.

Tehran is notorious for resisting international efforts to inspect its nuclear facilities, and the Telegraph reported on Tuesday that new information acquired by the International Atomic Energy Agency suggests that Iran carried out weapons development research in the period leading up to 2009 -- much more recently than was previously thought.

This new information has IAEA officials demanding to inspect the military facility at Parchin, said to be an important site for Iranian nuclear weapons development.

But Tehran is unlikely to acquiesce to those demands, and Netanyahu's Monday comments suggest that he may not be willing to wait until they do.

"If Iran knows that there is no red line or deadline, what will it do? Exactly what it is doing today -- continuing to work unhindered towards obtaining nuclear weapons capability and, from there, nuclear bombs," he said.

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