By Geneva Sands - 03/06/12 03:27 PM EST
"Ladies and gentleman, if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, then what is it? What is it?" he said at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) annual conference Monday. "That's right, it's a duck. But this duck is a nuclear duck. And it's time the world started calling a duck a duck."
The prime minister's speech on Monday evening came after President Obama urged Netanyahu, during a White House meeting earlier in the day, to allow time for tougher sanctions take effect against Iran. The United States and Israel are pressing Iran to halt its nuclear program over fears the Iranians are seeking to develop nuclear weaponry. Iran, however, insists its program is only for peaceful energy purposes.
The Obama-Netanyahu meeting comes amid growing concern a split is developing between the nations on addressing Iran. Some U.S. defense officials have indicated they believe the Israelis are considering a pre-emptive solo strike on Iran to halt its nuclear ambitions.
In his speech, Netanyahu vowed to defend Israel's interests from any threat.
"Never again will the Jewish people be powerless and supplicates for our fate and our very survival. Never again. That is why Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threats," he said.
For in-depth coverage of Netanyahu's speech at AIPAC on The Hill's DEFCON blog, click here.