The Thin Red Line: Netanyahu Says Iran Could Have Nukes By Next Summer

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made good on expectations that he’d be drawing a “clear red line” between Iran and nuclear weapons in his UN speech. Bibi warns that sanctions have failed to keep Iran from moving forward with its nuclear program and that the despotic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may get his hands on a nuke as soon as next summer.

In his speech at the UN today, the Israeli leader said that Tehran is less than a year away from nuclear armament:

“Iran is 70% of the way there and … well into the second stage. By next summer, at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. From there it is only a few more weeks before they have enriched enough for a bomb.”

Netanyahu also preempted any accusations that he’s simply beating war drums:

“I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down—and it will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy. Red lines don’t lead to war, red lines prevent war.”

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Still, Iran’s nuclear armament is something that the world doesn’t take seriously enough, according to Netanyahu. “Nothing could imperil the world more than a nuclear-armed Iran,” he said.

In his speech before Netanyahu’s, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of waging “a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people via the demolition of their homes” in East Jerusalem. In his speech, Netanyahu rejected the claim, calling it a “libelous” charge.

No word on whether or not Netanyahu’s warnings fell on deaf ears, but the media seemed mostly preoccupied with Netanyahu’s visual aid, so you never know.