The Freeland File
Aerospace & Defense
Global Market Data
Lucy P. Marcus
David Cay Johnston
The Great Debate
Jack & Suzy Welch
Macro & Markets
Lipper Awards 2012
Personal Finance Video
Photos of the week
Our top photos from the past week. Full Article
Images of August
Movies suffer worst box-office slump in a decade
09 Sep 2012
With $114 million, Obama just outraises Romney in August
Iraq blasts kill 100 as fugitive VP gets death sentence
09 Sep 2012
Obama maintains post-convention lead over Romney: Reuters/Ipsos poll
Florida police officer escorting Obama motorcade crashes, dies
09 Sep 2012
Obama widens lead over Romney despite jobs data: Reuters/Ipsos poll
Chicago braces for first teacher strike in a generation
Democrats attack Romney, defend Obama at convention
Israel discussing Iran "red line" with U.S.: Netanyahu
Germany urges Iran to make "substantial" nuclear offers
Sun, Sep 9 2012
Canada closes embassy in Iran, to expel Iranian diplomats
Fri, Sep 7 2012
Russia warns against attacking Iran over nuclear fears
Thu, Sep 6 2012
Iran says it treats Israeli military threats as American
Wed, Sep 5 2012
Analysis: Chastised Israel seeks way forward with U.S. over Iran
Tue, Sep 4 2012
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem September 9, 2012.
Credit: Reuters/Menahem Kahana/Pool
By Maayan Lubell
Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:36am EDT
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel and the United States are in discussion on setting a "red line" for Iran's nuclear program, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
"We're discussing it right now with the United States," Netanyahu said in an interview with Canada's CBC television aired late on Sunday.
In the interview, two days after Canada suspended diplomatic relations with Tehran over its nuclear project, Netanyahu again signaled that a clear boundary - which he has yet to define publicly - could obviate the need for military action.
Netanyahu's recent calls for world powers to set a "clear red line" that would show they were determined to stop Tehran's nuclear drive has suggested a growing impatience with the United States, Israel's main ally.
Washington, which has resisted the idea of laying down red lines for Iran in the past, has been pressing the Israeli leader to give diplomacy and sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic more time to work to rein in Iran's nuclear work peacefully.
Recent heightened Israeli rhetoric has stoked speculation that Israel might attack Iran before the U.S. elections in November, believing that President Barack Obama would give it military help and not risk alienating pro-Israeli voters.
DIFFERENCES IN ISRAELI LEADERSHIP
But Netanyahu has faced opposition to any go-it-alone attack from Israeli security chiefs and its popular president, Shimon Peres. Opinion polls show a majority of Israelis do not want their military to strike Iran without U.S. support.
"I don't think that they (Iran) see a clear red line, and I think the sooner we establish one, the greater the chances that there won't be a need for other types of action," Netanyahu said, appearing to refer to military steps.
"If Iran saw that, there's a chance, I won't say it's guaranteed, but there's a chance they might pause before they cross that line."
Israel and the West believe Iran is working toward nuclear weapon development capability. Israel, widely thought to be the Middle East's only atomic power, says a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence. The Islamic Republic says its nuclear work is for peaceful energy purposes only.
A senior Israeli government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said talks were being held with "the American administration," as to the red lines. He declined to elaborate.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz said on Monday Netanyahu had told German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle that if Iran enriched uranium above 20 percent, that would provide a red line as it would prove Tehran had chosen to exceed the level of refinement suitable for civilian energy and "break out" with an atom bomb.
Enrichment to 90 percent fissile purity is the typical threshold for weapons-grade nuclear fuel. Haaretz said Netanyahu stressed that from the moment Iran decided to make a nuclear bomb, it would need only six weeks to enrich to 90 percent.
Many independent analysts say, however, that Iran would need additional time - from several months to a year or more - to fashion weapons-grade material into a nuclear warhead and fit onto a missile capable of delivering the payload.
Netanyahu, who met Westerwelle on Sunday in Jerusalem, is scheduled to travel to the New York and address the U.N. General assembly about Iran later this month.
A meeting with Obama, who is deep in his re-election campaign and due to speak to the forum two days before Netanyahu arrives, has not been finalised, the Israeli official said.
(Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Mark Heinrich)
Related Quotes and News
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Be the first to comment on reuters.com.
Add yours using the box above.
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.