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Israeli PM says Iran top priority if re-elected

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[January 11, 2013]  JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says preventing Iran from getting a nuclear bomb will top his agenda if he wins the upcoming election.

Netanyahu spoke at a meeting with visiting U.S senators Friday.

He says "my priority, if I'm elected for a next term as prime minister, will be first to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons."

Polls suggest Netanyahu and a hawkish bloc will likely form Israel's next government after the Jan. 22 election.

Israel views Iran as an existential threat due to its nuclear program, frequent calls for Israel's destruction and support of violent militant groups in Lebanon and Gaza.

The West widely suspects Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran denies that. Israel has hinted at a military strike if economic sanctions fail.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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