Netanyahu’s top priority remains preventing a nuclear Iran
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Netanyahu’s top priority remains preventing a nuclear Iran

Jerusalem : Israel | Feb 02, 2013 at 2:17 PM PST
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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clinched the most seats in the recent elections and will likely assume another term in office if he can pull together a coalition. On Saturday evening, President Shimon Peres formally tasked Netanyahu with the responsibility of forming Israel's next government. The official announcement by the president has mandated the incumbent prime minister to initiate negotiations with other political parties to form the next government. The process of negotiations to form a coalition government must be completed in 28 days. If the negotiations do not reach any conclusion in the stipulated time period, the prime minister can request an additional 14 days.

At the ceremony, the president outlined a number of issues that he said needed attention from the upcoming government. These issues include "the deficit," "the need to equalize the burden in the Israeli society" and "the need to renew the peace process with the Palestinians."

However, the prime minister has another issue, not highlighted by the president, that is also a priority. Without mincing his words, Netanyahu said that the top priority of his government would remain preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, besides reducing the cost of living in Israel.

The prime minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak from the previous term, tried to convince US President Barack Obama's administration of the need for military strikes against nuclear facilities in Iran. Obama refused the idea. The Obama administration was and is still of the view that the issue can be resolved through dialogue. While the Obama administration does believe that the nuclear program of Iran is a threat to Israel and to the peace and security of the whole region, at the same time it also realizes that a military operation may endanger the region more than anything else.

Netanyahu does not share this strategy of preventing Iran from becoming nuclear. He is expected to continue pressuring Iran through countries that are friends of Israel. It is the success of Israel's diplomacy over the Iran issue, that has caused the US and its Western allies slap economic sanctions on Iran and put pressure on the country for a resolution of the nuclear issue.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel
StephenManual is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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