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Netanyahu says Iranian sanctions 'better work soon'

Netanyahu said that "the sanctions haven't worked… because nothing has been stopped" in the Iranian weapons program, and expressed skepticism that a mixture of diplomacy and economic restrictions would be enough to halt the Iranian regime.

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"They're certainly taking a bite out of the Iranian economy, but so far they haven't rolled back the Iranian program or even stopped it by one iota.  I mean I hope that changes, but so far I can tell you the centrifuges are spinning," Netanyahu said in an interview with CNN. "They were spinning before the talks began.  Recently with Iran they were spinning during the talks.  They're spinning as we speak.  So if the sanctions are going to work they better work soon."

But Netanyahu insisted he wasn't an important player in American politics and sidestepped expressing his preference in the 2012 presidential election. Republicans have accused the Obama Administration of not asserting enough strength on the Iranian nuclear issue and upsetting Israel in calling for a return to the pre-1967 border with Palestine.

While Netanyahu insisted that he had "enough politics of my own," he did offer some lighthearted praise for Romney. Netanyahu and Romney met earlier in their respective careers while working for the Boston Consulting Group.

"Well, I didn't work with him, but when I entered the Boston Consulting Group-- 35 years ago-- something like that, he was-- well, I was a young recruit and he was-- already a star manager.  He looked the same…. Isn’t that disturbing, I don't look the same.  He looked the same," Netanyahu said.

But despite some badgering from CNN's Erin Burnett, that was all the prime minister would offer on the presidential candidates.

"I respect Mitt Romney as I respect Barack Obama, the president of the United States.  And that's the end of the ranking-- and the-- questions that you will undoubtedly try again and again to-- draw me into," Netanyahu said.

The Israeli prime minister also discussed the conflict with Palestine and said he believed that he "could deliver a peace agreement" under the right circumstances.

"I think that peace would benefit us, as I think it would benefit the Palestinians, as it would benefit the entire region,"Netanyahu said. "I think that I could deliver a peace agreement.  I could get the Israeli people to follow me if I believe that I have a serious partner on the other side willing to make the necessary compromises on the Palestinian side.  Many compromises that people talk about are on the Israeli side.  But there are necessary compromises on the Palestinian side.  And, you know, peace is always a two way compromise."