WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged the United States to set a clear red line on Iran's disputed nuclear program.
"I think the issue is how to prevent Iran from completing its nuclear weapons program. They're moving very rapidly to completing the enrichment of the uranium that they need to produce a nuclear bomb. In six months or so, they will be 90 percent of the way there," Netanyahu said on a CNN program.
"I think it's important to place a red line before Iran, and I think that actually reduces the chance of a military conflict because, if they know there's a point, a stage in the enrichment or other nuclear activities that they cannot cross because they'll face consequences, I think they'll actually not cross it," he said.
U.S. President Barack Obama had said that Washington would not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. But Israel is not satisfied with the statement, and Netanyahu has been repeatedly pushing the Obama administration to lay down a clear threshold that Iran cannot cross.
Last week, after an hour-long telephone conversation between Obama and Netanyahu, there was no sign that the White House decided to heed the Israeli demand of setting a clear red line for military actions on Iran. The Obama administration insisted that there is still "time and space" to pursue the two-track approach of sanctions and diplomacy to pressure Iran to give up its uranium enrichment activities.
Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have threatened time and again preemptive air strikes on Iran's nuclear sites to stop its uranium enrichment activities, though Iran insists on the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.
Washington, however, is in no mood to see an armed conflict over Iran in an election year as Obama is seeking a second term in November.