Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Natanyahu: Iran's New Uranium Enrichment Drive Is Aimed At Destroying Israel

Netanyahu says Iran's new uranium enrichment drive is aimed at destroying Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that a newly announced plan by Iran to increase its nuclear enrichment capacity was aimed at producing nuclear weapons to be used against Israel.
“Two days ago, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, stated his intention to destroy the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said in a video posted on social media.
“Yesterday he explained how he would do it — by unlimited enrichment of uranium to create an arsenal of nuclear bombs.”

“We’re not surprised,” Netanyahu said in the video from Paris, where he was to meet French President Emmanuel Macron.
“We won’t let Iran obtain nuclear weapons.”

Iran on Monday notified the International Atomic Energy Agency of its plan to open a center for the production of new centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment, according to the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi.
Salehi stressed the announcement did not mean Iran will start assembling the centrifuges, and “does not violate the (2015 nuclear) agreement” between Tehran and world powers.
Under the 2015 agreement, Iran can build parts for the centrifuges as long as it does not put them into operation within the first decade.
On Sunday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Israel a “malignant cancerous tumour” that should be removed.
Netanyahu was visiting European leaders to discuss Iran’s regional involvement and nuclear programme, both seen by the Jewish state as grave threats.

 The European Union said Tuesday that a “first assessment” indicated that Iran’s announcement that it has launched a plan to boost uranium enrichment capacity did not breach its commitments under the beleaguered 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran has notified the International Atomic Energy Agency that it plans to open a center for producing new centrifuges, the Islamic Republic’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday, drawing an angry response from Israel.
The EU, which is working to save the 2015 agreement with Iran after the US pulled out, warned the Iranian announcement would not help build confidence in the Iranian program, but said it did not constitute a breach of the deal.

“Following a first assessment, the announced steps per se are not a violation of the JCPOA,” Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini, told AFP. The agreement is officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“However, at this particularly critical juncture, they will not contribute to build confidence in the nature of the Iranian nuclear program.”

Salehi stressed that his announcement was just the start of the production process and did not mean Iran was about to start assembling centrifuges.
Under the 2015 nuclear agreement that Iran signed with the US, China, Russia, Britain, France, and Germany after years of difficult talks, Tehran can build and test parts for advanced centrifuges, but specific restrictions exist on what technology can be researched and in what quantity within the first decade of the deal.
European governments have been trying to salvage the nuclear deal since the United States last month withdrew and said it would reimpose sanctions on foreign companies working in the Islamic republic by November.

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