“Smile and build a bomb” is the new Iranian president’s strategy, according to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke in comments on Tehran’s nuclear plans on Sunday.
Netanyahu said Iran’s nuclear policies were unlikely to change under its next president, moderate cleric and former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani, who will assume power on August 3.
“He’s criticizing his predecessor (President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) for being a wolf in wolf’s clothing. His strategy is be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Smile and build a bomb,” Netanyahu said.
“They’re edging up to the red line. They haven’t crossed it yet,” Netanyahu said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.”
“They’re getting closer and closer to the bomb. And they have to be told in no uncertain terms that that will not be allowed to happen.”
He warned that as Iran moves “closer and closer” to building a nuclear weapon and Israel may have to act before the United States.
Netanyahu went on to say that Israel had a narrower timetable than Washington, implying it may have to take unilateral action to halt Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
“Our clocks are ticking at a different pace. We’re closer than the United States. We’re more vulnerable. And therefore, we’ll have to address this question of how to stop Iran, perhaps before the United States does,” he said.
Netanyahu said Tehran has been building “faster centrifuges that would enable them to jump the line, so to speak, at a much faster rate -- that is, within a few weeks.”
He urged the United States to make clear to Rowhani that it will not allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon, and that military force “is truly on the table.”
“We’ve spoken many times, President Obama and I, about the need to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.
“What is important is to convey to them -- especially after the election -- (is) that (the) policy will not change,” he said.