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Netanyahu warns US not to roll back Iran sanctions

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“I think the pressure has to be maintained on Iran, even increased on Iran, until it actually stops its nuclear program,” he added. “You don’t want to go through halfway measures.”


Netanyahu compared Iran’s nuclear program to chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, which President Bashar Assad has pledged to eliminate.

Had Assad pledged to dismantle just a portion of its chemical weapons, Netanyahu said, “nobody would buy that.”

“That’s exactly what Iran is trying to do,” he said.

Some Senate Republicans this week pressed for tougher sanctions against Iran, though the White House has urged for caution until current talks run their course.

This week, American and Iranian officials met for two days in Geneva to discuss the country’s nuclear program.

The talks were the first since moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office, and appeared to signal progress. Iranian leaders did not make any firm commitments on their nuclear program, however.

On Sunday, Netanyahu warned the U.S. from rewarding Iran before it has taken any concrete steps, and left open the possibility of military action to force Iran to abandon its program.

“The result has to be full dismantling of Iran’s military nuclear program,” he said. “If that is achieved, it's very good. If it is achieved peacefully, it’s even better.”

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who also appeared on the show on Sunday, said that the Obama administration is committed to waiting until it sees signs of progress from Iran before scaling back its sanctions regime.

“It’s premature to talk about the easing,” he said.

“We need to see [Iran] rolling back their nuclear program,” he added. “When those movements come, any changes will have to be proportionate.”