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Netanyahu: Israel has right to defend itself

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel has the right to defend itself against Iran, which he said calls and works for Israel’s destruction. He also stated that Iran should dismantle its underground enrichment facilities.

Netanyahu made the remarks Friday in a photo opportunity before meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa.

The prime minister dismissed the idea of renewed international negotiations with Iran aimed at preventing the country from building a nuclear weapon.

"It could do again what it has done before, it could pursue or exploit the talks as they’ve done in the past to deceive and delay so that they can continue to advance their nuclear program and get to the nuclear finish line by running up the clock, so to speak," Netanyahu said after concluding his meeting with Harper.

"I think the international community should not fall into this trap," he said.

Netanyahu will meet with President Barack Obama on Monday, and Iran will be a major concern.

Obama warned Israel in an interview with The Atlantic magazine published Friday that a premature attack on Iran would do more harm than good.

"At a time when there is not a lot of sympathy for Iran and its only real ally (Syria) is on the ropes, do we want a distraction in which suddenly Iran can portray itself as a victim?" he said.

In the interview, Obama also rejected as unreasonable a more limited policy of containment in confronting Iran’s nuclear efforts.

"You’re talking about the most volatile region in the world," he said. "It will not be tolerable to a number of states in that region for Iran to have a nuclear weapon and them not to have a nuclear weapon. Iran is known to sponsor terrorist organizations, so the threat of proliferation becomes that much more severe."

He also pointed to economic turmoil in Iran and reiterated that sanctions against the Iranian regime are starting to bite.

Speaking about his relationship with the Netanyahu, Obama said: "This is one of the few times in the history of US-Israeli relations where you have a government from the right in Israel at the same time you have a center-left government in the United States, and so I think what happens then is that a lot of political interpretations of our relationship get projected onto this.

"But one thing that I have found in working with Prime Minister Netanyahu is that we can be very frank with each other, very blunt with each other, very honest with each other," he said.

"For the most part, when we have differences, they are tactical and not strategic. Our objectives are a secure United States, a secure Israel, peace, the capacity for our kids to grow up in safety and security and not have to worry about bombs going off, and being able to promote business and economic growth and commerce. We have a common vision about where we want to go," Obama noted.

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