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Netanyahu at UN issues 'nuclear' threat to Iran, later retracted

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly
— United Nations (United States) (AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday warned Iran at the United Nations of a "nuclear threat" in what his office quickly walked back as a slip of the tongue.

The hawkish prime minister said that alarm over Tehran's clerical leaders was driving Israel closer to the Arab world, with his government on the "cusp" of a historic breakthrough with Saudi Arabia.

Netanyahu, who has repeatedly used the UN stage to issue dark warnings about Tehran, briefly gave pause at the General Assembly when he appeared to threaten nuclear attack if Tehran pursues its own atomic bomb.

"Above all -- above all -- Iran must face a credible nuclear threat. As long as I'm prime minister of Israel, I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said.

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