Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismisses IAEA report on Iran
JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday dismissed a report released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which indicated that Iran had significantly slowed down its efforts to reach nuclear capabilities.
Speaking at a convention for American Jewish youth in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said he was “not impressed” by the report which charged that the rate of uranium enrichment at the nuclear facility in Natenz had dropped significantly in the past three months, under the regime of the recently-elected Hassan Rouhani.
The report specifically stated that the stockpile of high-level enriched uranium had risen by five percent since last August, currently standing at 196 kilograms, whereas 250 kg are necessary to build a nuclear bomb.
“Iran is not expanding its nuclear program, because it already has the infrastructure to create nuclear weapons,” the prime minister said, according to a statement from his office.
“The question is not whether they’re expanding the plan but how do we stop Iran’s military nuclear program,” he added, reiterating his stance that the world powers must keep sanctions against Iran intact.
Netanyahu’s words alluded to statements uttered by some U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry.
U.S. media outlets reported that at the earlier senate briefing, Kerry urged senators not to impose new sanctions on Iran, charging those would possibly “destroy any chance to reach an agreement.”
According to an U.S. official present at the meeting, Kerry specifically instructed the senators to “disregard what the Israelis are saying”, adding that Netanyahu is not fully aware of what’s been going on in Geneva, in the P5+1 talks held with Iran.
While the U.S. is attempting to reach an agreement with Iran after 30 years, Netanyahu campaigns against lifting sanctions and “hurrying into a deal,” threatening that Iran would pose an existential threat to Israel’s well-being, as well as to world peace.