Israeli premier to visit Europe, discuss Iran

Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli official says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Europe in a few months to persuade leaders to step up sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

The official spoke anonymously Tuesday because he was not authorized to discuss the issue with reporters.

Netanyahu told the U.N. last week that Iran will likely have the bomb by next summer. He has said he does not rule out a military strike.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry report that day concluded that sanctions are hitting Iran hard, and more should be imposed.

Another Israeli official, Foreign Ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson, said, "If we want to avoid military conflict, then upping economic sanctions is called for."

The emphasis on economic measures has drawn speculation that Israel is opting for sanctions over military action.

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