Thursday, October 21, 2021

Netanyahu warns of Iran ‘sunset clause’ over nuclear arms

Israel maintains it wants to maintain a diplomatic solution but that it is “not bound by [that]”.

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Tel Aviv (AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told parliament on Wednesday that Iran would ultimately have to share control of its nuclear facilities with the international community.

Addressing lawmakers in the Knesset, Netanyahu said: “This is not an alternative to diplomatic efforts … (but) Iran will not be able to produce nuclear weapons while under international supervision.”

Netanyahu made the comments to parliament on the opening day of a special session to discuss efforts to prevent Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.

On Monday, he slammed the nuclear deal as a “disaster” on which Israel is prepared to act alone.

His remarks underscored his split with the Barack Obama administration over the deal, agreed in 2015 and since re-negotiated.

Israel sees it as a bad deal because it does not extend sanctions on Iran by any means until 2025, and many countries have agreed to lift sanctions they had imposed against Tehran.

“The only way to guarantee Iran will not obtain nuclear weapons while under international supervision is to ensure that Iran remains under international supervision,” Netanyahu said.

“A diplomatic deal is not an alternative to a tough and clear response.”

In his speech, he accused Iran of violating UN Security Council resolutions in two main ways: making bomb-grade enriched uranium and trying to mass-produce atomic weapons.

Netanyahu said his “firmest rejection” of the deal was the idea of “forcing Iran to sign it, not lifting the sanctions, while Iran remains under inspection.”

The United States and Israel have both been threatening to scrap the deal since it was signed, and both continue to do so.

Neither country is part of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, which oversees Iran’s implementation of the deal.

Netanyahu reiterated that he would only ever do “everything” possible to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“That means that Israel will act alone to prevent Iran from having the bomb,” he said.

“I am absolutely certain that Israel will never allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons.”

© 2020 AFP

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