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Netanyahu warns world not to be 'duped' by Iran

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday warned the world not to be "duped" by conciliatory remarks and apparently liberalising gestures by Iran's new president, Hassan Rowhani.

The world should "not let itself be duped by the untrustworthy declarations of the Iranian president," Netanyahu said, according to a statement issued by his office.

"This same Rowhani has deceived the international community in the past" in discussions over the country's disputed nuclear programme," an apparent reference to the time when he was Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator.

Israel, along with the United States and other major world powers, suspects Iran of using its nuclear energy programme as a cover for developing an atomic bomb, allegations Tehran roundly denies.

A series of international sanctions have been slapped on Iran over its refusal to stop enriching uranium, a process that, in more advanced stages, could yield the fissile core of a bomb.

Netanyahu said Iran is "pursuing its nuclear programme. They are engaging in a media campaign while continuing to turn the centrifuges" that enrich the uranium.

In an interview with US television network NBC, Rowhani reached out to the United States, Iran's long-time foe.

The gesture was seen as past of a cautious game of diplomatic rapprochement as Tehran and Washington -- deadlocked over several key issues including Iran's controversial nuclear ambitions -- appear to be seeking to resolve their differences.

But he also described Israel as an "occupier" which has brought instability to the Middle East.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130919/netanyahu-warns-world-not-be-duped-iran