Netanyahu to AIPAC: Only Credible Military Threat Will Stop Iran

Netanyahu speaks via satellite to the pro-Israel lobby and says that Iran is getting closer to crossing the red line; Biden, speaking earlier, says Obama is not bluffing on Iran.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke via satellite on Monday to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's policy conference.

Netanyahu said that sanctions on Iran have not worked and that a credible military threat is needed to stop its nuclear drive.

"Iran still hasn't crossed the red line, but it is getting closer," he said. Netanyahu said Iran is using negotiations with world powers in effort at "running out the clock."

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke before Netanyahu and stressed that President Barack Obama is committed to Israel and to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

"President Obama shares my commitment to Israel," Biden told the audience."The President has acted swiftly and decisively to make clear that our deep commitment to Israel has not changed."

Biden stressed the U.S. commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."Prevent, not contain," Biden emphasized. "Big nations cannot bluff," he said. "They do not bluff. Obama is no bluffing on Iran."

Biden said that the U.S. prefers a diplomatic solution, but it is "important that the world is with us if we have to act."

Ehud Barak, the outgoing defense minister, addressed the conference in person on Sunday. Barak called on the U.S. to set up a “regional security framework” that would unite Middle East countries around the “joint challenges of radical Islamist terror, border security, missile defense and Iran.”

Speaking to thousands of delegates at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, Barak also called for a “daring peace initiative” which would try to achieve a permanent status solution with the Palestinians or what he described as a “fair interim agreement”. A two-state solution, Barak said, is “a compelling imperative” for Israel.

The three-day event will end on March 5 with a lobbying blitz on Capitol Hill.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attending a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, February 17, 2013.Credit: Reuters

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