Netanyahu to Jewish Leaders: North Korea Nuclear Test Shows Sanctions Alone Won't Stop Iran

WATCH: Speaking to Jewish Agency Board of Governors in Jerusalem, the prime minister said 'sanctions alone will not stop' Iran's nuclear program.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that North Korea's recent nuclear test shows that "sanctions alone will not stop" Iran's atomic program. Netanyahu told the Jewish Agency Board of Governors that Western sanctions against Tehran "have to be coupled with a robust, credible, military threat. If they are not, then there is no chance to stop them."

Netanyahu also said Iran would top his agenda when President Barack Obama visits Israel next month.

North Korea conducted a nuclear test last week despite warnings of more international punishment. Iran, like North Korea, is under stiff sanctions from the West over its nuclear program.

Israel sees Iran's nuclear program as an existential threat. Netanyahu often hints about a possible strike on Iran's nuclear sites if sanctions fail.

Israel said last week that the international community must make clear to North Korea after its latest nuclear test that such activities cannot be tolerated.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said the test, North Korea's third in defiance of UN resolutions, and a ballistic missile launch in December raised "grave concerns" about proliferation of nuclear and ballistic technologies.

"These actions by North Korea, in violation of its international obligations, must be met with a swift response by the international community," the ministry said.

"A clear message must be sent to North Korea and to other countries that such activities are unacceptable and cannot be tolerated."

Also last week, Netanyahu urged world powers to put more pressure on Iran to stop what Israel and Western countries fear is a drive toward developing atomic weapons. Iran says it is enriching uranium solely for peaceful purposes.

Israel, which is generally believed to possess the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal but refuses to confirm or deny the fact, says a nuclear-armed Iran would threaten its existence, and has hinted strongly that it will take military action if international efforts fail to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, February 18, 2013.Credit: Reuters

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