Netanyahu escalates criticism of Obama Iran policy, presses US to draw ‘red line’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unleashed some of his harshest comments to date against the Obama administration's Iran policy on Tuesday, the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Netanyahu accused the administration of hindering Israel's ability to protect itself against a nuclear-armed Iran after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined over the weekend to identify the so-called "red lines" that the administration will not allow Iran to cross in its nuclear program.

ADVERTISEMENT
“The fact is that every day that passes, Iran gets closer and closer to nuclear bombs,” Netanyahu said, according to The Washington Post

“The world tells Israel, ‘Wait. There’s still time.’ And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel."

The public remarks at a press conference alongside visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov come as Netanyahu and other hawks in his administration are seeking to build public support for a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, something the United States and many Israeli military officials believe is premature.

Clinton on Sunday said that the administration is “not setting deadlines” on Iran.

White House spokesman Jay Carney defended Clinton's stance at his press briefing Monday. “We believe that there remains time and space for [sanctions and diplomacy] to bear fruit,” he said.

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has also made Iran a centerpiece of his foreign-policy criticisms of the Obama administration, calling for the implementation of "crippling sanctions" to dissuade Tehran from continuing its nuclear program.