George Stephanopoulos' One-on-One with Benjamin Netanyahu

STEPHANOPOULOS: How much time do we have? I mean … U.S. military officials went before the Congress this week and said that they expect that Iran will have the materials to develop one nuclear weapon in about a year. And probably be actually able to develop the actual weapons in two to five years. Is that your assessment as well?

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I'm not gonna get into concrete assessments. I will say that-- we have a lot less time with each day that passes. And the crucial thing is to use the time available for forceful international action led by the United States. If you can go through the Security Council. If you can't, go outside the Security Council.

But there are several ways to … stop this. And if the international community led by the United States or a community of nations, concerned nations, led by the United States, is seriously determined to stop it, this can be stopped.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I know it is the policy of Israel to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but what is the specific line they can't cross? If … they move up to the line of … making a weapon, they have the weapons material but don't construct it, don't put it together, is that something Israel can live with?

NETANYAHU: Well, I'm not gonna get into those details. I think everybody understands a nuclear program when they see it. We see it in the making. Everybody understands that if Iran is not stopped. But go ahead and make nuclear bombs with the-- which will make a terrorist regime.

You know, it'll really put the greatest danger in front of us. That the world's most dangerous regimes -- with the world's most dangerous terrorist proxies -- could acquire the world's most dangerous weapons. That's something that should be stopped. We shouldn't parse it out and begin to, you know, to parse it out into splitting hairs. We understand what they're doing. They understand that we understand what they're doing. And it's up to the leading nations of the world, of course with the leadership of the United States, to stop it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it's fair to say that Israel will not permit, in your view … on your watch, Iran to get a nuclear weapon?

NETANYAHU: Our preference is that the international community, led by the United States-- stop this nuclear weapons program. Having said that, I … would say that, you know, we're in the eve of Israel's Independence Day. And the fortunes of the Jewish people were such that we could never defend ourselves until we re-establish the Jewish state. We paid a horrible price in the Holocaust and before the Holocaust. And of course the changes that -- there is a Jewish state now that always reserves the right to defend the Jewish nation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: President Ahmadinejad as you know is convening (?) his own nuclear conference in Iran this weekend. At the conference he called Israel a microbe on the verge of collapse. I think that's one translation of his words. And one of the points he's been making is that Israel is being hypocritical. They've developed their own nuclear program. He said many times he believes Israel has nuclear weapons. Why not call his bluff and sign the non-proliferation treaty and abide by the non-proliferation treaty?

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