George Stephanopoulos' One-on-One with Benjamin Netanyahu

NETANYAHU: I don't know about the Security Council. I hope so. And certainly the international community can … deliver crippling sanctions. Let me tell you what they are. If you stop … Iran from importing - refined petroleum, that's a fancy word for gasoline, then Iran simply doesn't have refining capacity and this regime comes to a halt. I think that's crippling sanctions. Now if the U.N. Security Council doesn't pass it because they'll dilute the resolution to get acquiescence of their members, then certainly the United States and other willing partners in the international community can do it outside. Can enforce these sanctions outside the Security Council. There is a way to deliver these crippling sanctions. This should be done now.


NETANYAHU: In any case, the message should be clear to Iran that it will not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But Mr. Prime Minister, you know China's not willing to go along with those crippling sanctions. Last week I spoke with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. He made it clear that he was not willing to go along with those crippling sanctions. Then where are you left?

NETANYAHU: You're left with doing it outside the Security Council. There's a coalition of the willing and you can have very powerful sanctions. I think this is a minimal requirement right now to, not really to send messages but to actually make this regime begin to make choices.

Because right now they feel they don't have to make choices. They … understand that the spotlight is on them but they're not doing anything. And the critical thing is I think there's an understanding in … Washington, certainly … in Jerusalem and … quite a few other capitals in the world, that very forceful action has to be taken to make Iran stop. I think the future … of peace in the world and of stability and security is at stake.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're right that there are … majorities that believe in both houses of the U.S. Congress, who've expressed a willingness to go along with those sanctions. But so far President Obama hasn't joined them. Has he given you an assurance that's he willing to go for -- for sanctions like that?

(Off-mic conversation)

STEPHANOPOULOS: A majority in both houses of Congress have expressed a willingness to go along with the kind of petroleum sanctions you've outlined, but so far President Obama has not been willing to state that publicly. Has he given you an assurance that he's willing to go for crippling sanctions?

NETANYAHU: Well, what the United States has said is that they're determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. And I … think that's-- an important statement. I -- look, I've been talking about this for 14 years. When I was first elected prime minister-- the first time-- 14 years (ago) I was given the opportunity to address both sessions of Congress.

And I said at that time that the single greatest threat to mankind is Iran's attempt to develop nuclear weapons. And a lot of eyebrows were raised 14 years ago. They're not raised now. And … I think the President of the United States, the government of the United States has seized of the situation. There're several ways that this can be blocked. Crippling sanctions on petroleum import. And we find petroleum import is one of them. There are others.

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