Netanyahu to Urge EU Leaders Not to Let Up Pressure on Iran

PM announces he will meet with EU leaders to discuss sanctions on Iran's nuclear program; 'we cannot be tempted by the Iranian trickery,' he adds.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced he will meet with European leaders next week to discuss Iran's nuclear program, Army Radio reported Friday.

Netanyahu, who returned from New York on Friday, said he will urge the European leaders to avoid easing sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.

"We are in the midst of an extensive international battle against the Iranian nuclear program," he said.

"We cannot be tempted by the Iranian trickery to ease sanctions as long as Iran does not dismantle its military nuclear program," he added. 

On Tuesday, Netanyahu delivered a combative speech at the United Nations General Assembly, dismissing diplomatic overtures made to the United States by Iranian President Hassan Rohani.

Netanyahu referred to the Iranian president's "charm offensive" as a ruse to get relief from sanctions, and urged the international community to keep up biting sanctions, saying the greater the pressure, the greater the chance for diplomacy to succeed.

Following the speech, Netanyahu spent the last days of his trip giving television interviews aimed at discrediting Iran's recent attempts to project a more moderate image.

On Thursday, the prime minister told BBC Persian that a nuclear Iran would spell slavery for the Iranian people. In an interview with CBS News, he warned that Iran was working on intercontinental ballistic missiles that could one day hit the United States.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu told NBC that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei cannot be trusted because he heads a "cult" that is "wild in its ambition and aggression," adding that it is a “messianic, apocalyptic, radical regime.”

The United States and Israel accuse Iran of seeking to develop an atomic bomb. Rohani has agreed to negotiate with the U.S. and other Western powers over Iran’s nuclear program, which he insists exists for peaceful purposes.

Later this month, Iran will meet the P5+1 – the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany – in Geneva to resume negotiations aimed at resolving the years-old nuclear dispute.

Netanyahu addresses the UN General Assembly. October 1, 2013.Credit: AP