Netanyahu: 'We Want a Sustainable Peace'

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- For Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the pressure never lets up.

At Monday's opening of the Knesset's winter session and at Tuesday's ceremonies marking the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Netanyahu spoke out on the pressing issues facing the Jewish state: the Iranian nuclear program and the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Netanyahu restated the importance of keeping up the pressure on Iran -- a message he's shared repeatedly with international media, heads of state and with members of his own government.

"It would be a historic mistake to reduce pressure on Iran now, a moment before sanctions achieve their goal," he said, adding that the effect of those sanctions is what brought them to the latest round of talks whose results will affect "other parts of the world."

"Iran is developing intercontinental ballistic missiles that can hold nuclear warheads. They can reach anywhere in the Middle East, Europe, the U.S. and other parts of the world," he said.

At Tuesday's commemoration of the Yom Kippur War, Netanyahu spoke of Israel's genuine desire for peace and the holdup as he sees it.

His remarks came after MK Zehava Gal-On, chairwoman of the ultra-left-wing Meretz Party, and MK Shaul Mofaz, chairman of the severely truncated Kadima Party, accused him of not reaching an agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

In his response, Netanyahu touched on two key issues: the lack of a reciprocal peace partner and the Iranian factor.

From the onset of negotiations in 2009, Netanyahu has stressed the importance of security. While the P.A. talks about the pre-1967 armistice lines as the borders of its future state, Netanyahu says those are indefensible borders, reducing Israel to a nine-mile waistline in one area and leaving Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport vulnerable to attack.

He has also repeatedly stated there will be no agreement without the P.A.'s recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, yet another stumbling block not only for Hamas, the Palestinian faction ruling the Gaza Strip, but also for the Fatah-affiliated leadership in Ramallah.

And then there's Iran.

Netanyahu explained again that Iran has the ability to control any territory Israel cedes, as evidenced in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

"Who among us doesn't want peace?" he asked parliamentarians. "But we want a real, sustainable peace, not a temporary one. This peace will have to take into account the real forces surrounding us: Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, [Islamic] Jihad [and] al Qaeda."

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