Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described Iran’s nuclear energy program as "the problem of the world" in an attempt to downplay the illegal Israeli settlement expansion. “Building in Jerusalem is not the problem of the world. A nuclear Iran is the problem of the world,” Netanyahu said during a meeting with a group of US senators in his office in al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Saturday.
Netanyahu also expressed gratitude to the Republican and Democratic senators for the “unwavering support of Israel in the Senate.”The US delegation, comprised of Democratic and Republican senators, was headed by Senator John McCain of the Senate Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees. “History will not forgive those who do not stop Iran’s nuclear program,” Netanyahu added. The United States, the Israeli regime and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with Tel Aviv repeatedly threatening to attack Tehran’s nuclear facilities. Iran rejects the allegations against its nuclear energy program, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. As the pillar of his election campaigning, the premier has several times reiterated that Iran's nuclear program will be his first priority if he wins the elections, slated to be held on Tuesday. This is while other parties competing the incumbent have not at all mentioned Iran's nuclear program in their campaigning and instead focused on people’s economic conditions. Last week, former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lashed out at Netanyahu, saying he wasted “more than 11 billion shekels on security hallucinations” about Iran's nuclear energy program "that were not performed and will not be performed." "They scared the world for a year and in the end didn't do anything," charged Olmert, referring to Netanyahu's war rhetoric against Iran. Tel Aviv’s new settlement policies have drawn international criticism and condemnation. Many countries, including some of Israel’s allies, have censured the latest Israeli plans to construct more settler units in the occupied Palestinian territories. In December 2012, the member states of the UN Security Council, except the US, called for an immediate halt to the Israeli settlement expansion plans. The EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, also issued a statement on December 20, slamming Israel’s plans to build more settler units. The criticisms came after Israeli officials said they would go ahead with plans to build 6,500 settler units on Palestinian territory despite the opposition of the United Nations and the international community. MYA/HSN/MA