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article imageNetanyahu: Settlements not world's concern, focus on Iran nukes

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By Michael Krebs     Jan 20, 2013 in World
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a hard line with US senators over the weekend, saying that settlements in Jerusalem were not the world's problem and that a nuclear Iran should instead be the world's focus.
In a message that appeared to be directed at U.S. President Barack Obama, and a position that appeared to be largely supported by Israeli voters, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that the expansion of Israeli settlements in Jerusalem are not the concern of the international community - but that Iran's perceived pursuit of nuclear weapons should top the concerns of global leaders.
Netanyahu met with U.S. senators in Jerusalem over the weekend, underscoring the importance of keeping Iran's nuclear ambitions in check.
"Building in Jerusalem is not the world’s problem; a nuclear Iran is the world’s problem,” Netanyahu said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Netanyahu is the lead candidate in the coming Israeli election on Tuesday by a wide margin, and his positions appeared to be very much in line with Israel's voting populace.
"Over the last four years, we have withstood enormous pressures," Netanyahu told soldiers in the Israeli Defense Force, as USA Today reported. "They wanted us to restrain our pressure on Iran, withdraw to the 1967 lines, divide Jerusalem and cease construction in Jerusalem. We have fended off those pressures."
Netanyahu's comments seemed partially directed at President Obama, as it is not a secret that the two leaders do not share parallel interests. Earlier this week it was revealed that Obama believes that Israel "doesn't know what its own best interests are."
For his part, Netanyahu has drawn a firm line on Iran's nuclear program and expressed frustration with Obama for not doing more to help curtail Iran's progress.
"History will not forgive those who do not stop Iran's nuclear program," Netanyahu told the visiting U.S. senators, according to Israel Hayom.
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