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China Daily Website

Israel not informed about US-Iran talks

Updated: 2012-10-22 16:10
( Xinhua)

JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel was not aware of any talks between the United States and Iran, after a report by the New York Times stated that both countries had agreed to one-on-one talks.

The New York Times said Saturday that the United States and Iran were set for talks to negotiate Tehran's nuclear power and put an end to the rift between Iran and the Western powers.

According to reports by US media on Sunday, White House has denied such talks.

Israel not informed about US-Iran talks

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Oct 21, 2012. [Photo/Agencies] 

Netanyahu said he could not confirm if these alleged contacts took place.

"Israel doesn't know about these contacts and I can't confirm that they've actually taken place," he said, speaking at the Home Front Command drill in Holon, near Tel Aviv.

"I can say that Iran used the talks and negotiations with the five powers to drag its feet and to gain time to advance its nuclear weapons program," he said, warning that Tehran is only trying to gain time in order to achieve full nuclear power.

Netanyahu also added that the best way to deter Iran's nuclear program is through "halting uranium enrichment, removing all enriched uranium and dismantling the underground installation in Qom", and a mix of sharper sanctions and military threat.

"I can say that as long as I am the prime minister of Israel, Israel will not allow Iran to reach a military nuclear capability," he said.

Netanyahu made the remarks while attending a drill for regional war, tsunami and earthquake in Central Israel, amid raising tensions with Iran. Israeli and US military and rescue forces are putting their skills to the test in coping with these situations in a joint exercise that will last for three weeks.