Netanyahu: Iran's nuclear program in hands of Supreme Leader

June 21, 2013 at 12:16 PM

JERUSALEM, June 21 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says he does not believe Iran's new president has the power to alter the country's nuclear program.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Netanyahu said the program is in the hands of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. While the election results show Iran's people feel "deep dissatisfaction" with the regime, Netanyahu suggested that won't affect Khamenei.

"He remains committed to pursuing the path of arming Iran with nuclear weapons, and I'm afraid the elections are not going to change that. "

Netanyahu said he also wants assurances an independent Palestinian state will not be "an Iranian outpost."

"I want a state for the Jewish people alongside a state for the Palestinian people," he said. "At the same time, I don't want an Iranian state next to our borders that would hurl thousands of rockets at our cities."

Netanyahu was also skeptical about Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani. He said Rouhani, Iran's former national security chief and nuclear negotiator, was approved as a candidate by Khamenei when many others were not allowed to run.

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