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Netanyahu urges continued world pressure on Iran after election

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Sunday for no let-up in international pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions after the election of a new president widely seen as a moderate.

"The international community must not give in to wishful thinking or temptation and loosen the pressure on Iran for it to stop its nuclear program," Netanyahu told his cabinet, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office.

Netanyahu said it was Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and not the newly elected president, Hassan Rohani, who set nuclear policy.

Israel, widely believed to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal, and the West fear that Iran is enriching uranium with the aim of developing nuclear weapons, an allegation Tehran denies.

"Iran will be judged by its actions," Netanyahu said. "If it continues to insist on developing its nuclear program, the answer must be clear - to stop it by any means."

Israel has signaled it could take military action against Iran if international sanctions and diplomacy fail to bring about a change in its nuclear policy.

"The greater the pressure on Iran, the greater the chance of bringing a halt to the Iranian nuclear program, which remains the greatest threat to world peace," Netanyahu said.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller, Editing by Ari Rabinovitch)

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