Last updated: 2 March, 2012

Netanyahu says he won’t set “red lines” for action on Iran

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday he will not set “red lines” for military action against Iran, insisting he wanted to preserve the Jewish state’s freedom to maneuver.

“I have not set down red lines to the United States and will not set down red lines,” he said. “I want to reserve Israel’s freedom to maneuver in light of threats, every country would demand that.”

Netanyahu arrived in Canada on Friday ahead of White House talks next week expected to focus on halting Iran’s controversial nuclear drive.

Shortly after his arrival in Ottawa, Netanyahu met privately with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a keen backer of Israel. He was to travel on to Washington on Sunday.

At a news conference with Harper, Netanyahu laid out Israel’s demands for Iran: to dismantle its underground nuclear facility in Qom, stop uranium enrichment and get rid of all enriched material in Iran beyond what would allow it to make medical isotopes or generate nuclear power.

Harper said he wants to see a “peaceful resolution” to the Iran nuclear threat.

Netanyahu and Obama are to meet Monday and are expected to discuss further measures to slow or halt Iran’s nuclear program, which Israel views as its greatest strategic threat.

Western nations have stepped up sanctions on Iran, accusing it of pursuing nuclear weapons in the guise of a peaceful program, charges denied by Tehran.