(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comments, this evening (Sunday, 21 October 2012), on the reports regarding the possibility of direct negotiations between the US and Iran:
"Israel doesn't know about these contacts and I can't confirm that they've actually taken place. I can say that Iran used the talks and negotiations with the Five Powers to drag its feet and to gain time to advance its nuclear weapons program. In the last year alone, in the course of these talks, Iran has enriched thousands of kilograms of uranium in its nuclear program. And I don't see any reason why they wouldn't continue in that same way if they open up talks with the US.
Therefore, the international community, first of all, needs to set very clear demands to Iran: Halting uranium enrichment, removing all enriched uranium and dismantling the underground installation in Qom.
I think that the best chance to succeed in halting Iran's nuclear program diplomatically is a combination of very sharp sanctions and a credible military option. In any event, I can say that as long as I am the Prime Minister of Israel, Israel will not allow Iran to reach a military nuclear capability."