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Israeli PM: Iran main topic at Obama meeting

Sept. 17, 2013 at 7:21 AM   |   Comments

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JERUSALEM, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Israel's prime minister said Iran's nuclear program will dominate talks at his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington at the end of the month.

"I intend to focus on the issue of stopping Iran's nuclear program," Israel Radio quoted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu saying at Tuesday's cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu said at the Sept. 30 meeting he will discuss ways to halt Iran's nuclear program, a move that will require an end to uranium enrichment, transporting enriched material out of Iran, closing the underground facilities and stopping the plutonium manufacturing process, the report said.

Netanyahu's statements came amid a report by the German weekly Der Spiegel published Monday that said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is prepared to decommission the Fordow nuclear plant and allow inspectors to monitor the removal of centrifuges in exchange for an end to economic sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.

Rouhani reportedly plans to announce details of the offer at the U.N. General Assembly, the report said.

Rouhani, in office since early August, risks losing the support of the Iranian public if he fails to show concrete concessions from the West in exchange for the compromise, the report said.

The underground Fordow uranium enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom is considered by the West to be a particularly grave threat. Researchers are using 696 centrifuges to enrich 20 percent uranium. The plant went into operation in late 2011 and is said to be the most modern plant in the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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