Credible Military Threat Needed Against Iran: Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a “credible military threat” is needed to stop Iran’s atomic program, the risk it poses to the flow of Middle East oil and what he called a global wave of Iran-led terrorism.

“The sanctions alone won’t stop Iran’s nuclear program,” Netanyahu said at a conference in Jerusalem today. “They have to be coupled with a robust, credible military threat.” Iran will be at the top of President Barack Obama’s agenda next month when he visits Israel and the Palestinian territories, followed by violence in Syria, Netanyahu said.

Iran faces sanctions including a European Union ban on oil purchases and new U.S. measures this month that restrict the Persian Gulf country’s access to cash from oil exports.

Netanyahu has called for “red lines” to be set for military action if Iran continues to enrich uranium for what Israel believes is a nuclear arms program. He said on Feb. 11 that Iran is accelerating efforts to enrich uranium.

The Islamic Republic says the enrichment is for civilian use. U.S. officials have said they prefer to focus on economic sanctions with European partners to pressure Iran.

To contact the reporter on this story: Calev Ben-David in Jerusalem at cbendavid@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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