Netanyahu: We can't wait on Iran like we did on Auschwitz

By Jennifer Lipman, March 6, 2012

The Israeli Prime Minister has emphasised the urgency of a response to the Iranian nuclear threat.

Benjamin Netanyahu, addressing a crowd at the Aipac conference in Washington soon after a White House meeting with President Obama, said a nuclear Iran would "dramatically increase terrorism by giving terrorists a nuclear umbrella. That means that Iran's terror proxies like Hizbollah, Hamas will be emboldened to attack America, Israel, and others."

He also dismissed Tehran's claim that Iranian scientists were not developing nuclear weapons.

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then what is it? That's right, it's a duck," said Mr Netanyahu. "This duck is a nuclear duck and it's time the world started calling a duck a duck."

He said: "We waited for diplomacy to work; we've waited for sanctions to work; none of us can afford to wait much longer".

Pointing out that in 1944, when the Nazis were at the heights of their attempt to wipe out the Jews, the US government ignored pleas to bomb Auschwitz, he said: "Today, we have a state of our own. And the purpose of the Jewish state is to defend Jewish lives and to secure the Jewish future.

"Never again will we not be masters of the fate of our very survival."

The details of his discussions with President Obama were kept under wraps, although according to the New York Times the pair disagreed on the time frame for a diplomatic solution, but overall the meeting was "friendly, straightforward, and serious".

However, in a speech at the Aipac conference on Sunday, the US leader promised that all options would remain on the table.

Last updated: 10:23am, March 6 2012