France must see past Rouhani’s smiles, Israel's PM Netanyahu says
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem October 6, 2013. REUTERSFrance must remain strong against Iran and its President Hassan Rouhani to prevent the country from reaching nuclear weapons capability, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told FRANCE 24 on Oct. 10.
France "should be tough on Iran, with or without Rohani’s smiles", Netanyahu told FRANCE 24 Jerusalem correspondent Gallagher Fenwick.
"What Iran is putting forward with this smile campaign is an old position… they need the enrichment, the centrifuges and the heavy water plutonium reactor for one thing - to produce nuclear weapons, and we don’t want to give them that."
He suggested Rouhani's recent movements towards détente with the West were insincere. “If they really wanted to dismantle their nuclear weapons programme, they’d come out with it,” he said.
Netanyahu likened the softening of Iran’s diplomacy to the trustworthiness of a hypothetical offer by Syrian leader Bashar al Assad to get rid of 20 percent of his country’s chemical weapons.
“Would you accept that? Would anyone accept that?” he asked, “Of course not!”
“You don’t dismantle 20 percent, you dismantle 100 percent. This is not my position alone. This was the French position, the EU’s position,” he said.
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