In an address at the United Nations Tuesday, Netanyahu said he is "prepared to make a historic compromise for genuine and enduring peace" but he said Israel "will never acquiesce" to allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.
He said "the only diplomatic solution that will work is one that dismantles Iran's nuclear program and prevents Iran from having it in the future."
"Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons," he said. "If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone."
Tehran has stockpiles of enriched uranium it says are intended for use solely for nuclear energy.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a U.N. speech last week Iran is ready to engage in talks on its nuclear program "with full transparency" but called on the United States to avoid "war mongering."
Rouhani spoke hours after U.S. President Barack Obama said in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly Iran's positive statements must be followed by positive actions that can be verified.
"I wish I could believe Rouhani, but I don't," Netanyahu said Tuesday.
He called Rouhani a "wolf in sheep's clothing" and said the Iranian president, "like the presidents who came before him, is a loyal servant of the regime."
"The Israeli prime minister better not even think about attacking Iran let alone planning for that," Iranian U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said after Netanyahu's speech. Other Iranian diplomats said before Netanyahu's speech the Israeli prime minister is a liar, The New York Times reported.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told an interviewer on state television Israel's claims about Iran's nuclear program are based on "lying, deception, incitement and harassment."
Netanyahu said the international community "has Iran on the ropes" and should keep pressure on Tehran to shut down its nuclear program in its entirety.
Paraphrasing former U.S. President Ronald Reagan -- who famously said "trust but verify" -- Netanyahu said the international community should "distrust, dismantle and verify" that Iran's nuclear program is shut down.
He said economic sanctions should remain in place until Iran's nuclear program has been verifiably shut down, and should be strengthened if Iran shows signs of going forward with its program.
"We all want to give diplomacy with Iran a chance to succeed," Netanyahu said, but keeping pressure on Tehran will improve chances diplomacy will resolve the issue.
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