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14:59 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
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Israeli PM Netanyahu Calls for 'Red Line' over Iran

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the international community to draw a “clear red line” for taking action against Iran by next summer, to prevent the Islamic Republic from completing the second stage of nuclear enrichment required to produce a bomb, the United Nations reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the international community to draw a “clear red line” for taking action against Iran by next summer, to prevent the Islamic Republic from completing the second stage of nuclear enrichment required to produce a bomb, the United Nations reported.

“I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down,” Netanyahu said at the UN General Assembly on Thursday of Iran’s nuclear program.

“This will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons program altogether. Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together,” he said.

The West led by the United States suspects Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran says it needs nuclear power solely for electricity generation.

The Israeli premier divided bomb production into three stages - low, medium and high enriched uranium. He said in his remarks to the 67th Assembly’s General Debate at the UN Headquarters in New York that Iran has already completed the first stage and is now well into the second stage.

“By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. The red line should be drawn right here, before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb,” Netanyahu said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said earlier that Iran would defend itself should Israel attack it.

“Any nation has the right and will indeed defend itself,” Ahmadinejad said speaking through an interpreter in an interview that aired Monday on CNN's “Piers Morgan Tonight.”