June 17 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran's presidential election, which brought into power a cleric widely seen as a moderate, was unlikely to bring about any change in Iran’s nuclear policy. Mana Rabiee reports.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Iran's Presidential election showed popular discontent with the Tehran government, but that it was unlikely to bring about REAL change in Iran's nuclear policy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING: "Unfortunately it doesn't have the power to change Iran's nuclear ambitions which are determined and guided not by the President but by the Supreme ruler, Ayatollah Khamenei. He remains committed to pursuing the path of arming Iran with nuclear weapons." Friday's election brought into power Hassan Rohani, a former nuclear negotiator widely seen as a moderate. He's pledged greater transparency in Iran's nuclear program as a way to lift sanctions against the Islamic Republic. But Netanyahu called for continued international pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear efforts, which Israel and the West fear are aimed at developing atomic weapons. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING: "The crucial test is how serious they are, and the way that you will know if they are serious is whether... not how they spin the elections but whether they stopped the centrifuges from spinning." Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian use, but Israel has signaled it could take military action against Iran if sanctions and diplomacy fail to bring about a change.