Netanyahu made the comments during the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, upon returning from the World Economic Forum in Davos which was also attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a news agency reported.

"Rouhani said in Davos that he is in favour of acknowledging all the states in the Middle East, but refused to answer questions about recognizing the state of Israel," Netanyahu said, according to a statement from the Prime Minister's Office.

"He also said that Iran would not dismantle its centrifuges. The meaning of his statements is that if Iran continues to persist in this policy, a permanent agreement, which is the objective of the diplomatic process with Iran, would not be able to succeed," the Prime Minister added.

Rouhani said in Davos on Thursday that Iran has no intention of producing nuclear weapons but insisted on using nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes. Last week, Iran started implementing its interim agreement with the P5+1 countries (the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany), which required it to dismantle centrifuges used to enrich uranium and halt the operation of several nuclear facilities.

The negotiations for a permanent agreement between both parties are set to resume in the upcoming weeks. Netanyahu has led a hardline stance against Iran, calling Rouhani's campaign an attempt to divert the world's attention while it works to achieve nuclear powers.

Iran, on the other hand, has criticized Netanyahu for trying to thwart the diplomatic process, insisting that the Islamic republic will use its nuclear capabilities only for peaceful purposes.


Latest News from World News Desk