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Steinitz: Iran will be like North Korea

February 18, 2014 09:01

Speaking at Conference of Presidents in Jerusalem, intelligence minister says Iran could pose existential threat to Israel, US if Geneva deal goes bad.


Minister Steinitz addresses Conference of Presidents in Jerusalem, February 18, 2013. (photo credit:TOVAH LAZAROFF)

Iran will turn into North Korea if it continues on its current path, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz warned Tuesday, in a speech at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem.

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"We insist that Iran should not have any enrichment capability in a final agreement," Steinitz said.

"What happened in North Korea, which became nuclear, will happen in Iran. This will pose an existential threat to Israel," he said. 

The minister added that the threat was also to the United States, because if Iran has longer range missiles, it can also pose a nuclear threat to America.

"Right now they can reach Israel and parts of Europe but in a few years they will be able to reach America," he said. 
Steinitz said that Iran has already benefited from the nuclear deal struck in Geneva in November.

"What is Iran giving and what are they getting? What they are getting is very clear- release of sanctions, what they are giving is very unclear
," he said.

He also said that if Iran were to wait a few years before developing weapons, it would be too late because it would have already provoked a Sunni versus Shi'ite arms race in the Middle East.

"An agreement with Iran meant to prevent nuclear armament of one country -- namely Iran -- might result in a nuclear arms race all over the Middle East and beyond," he said.

Steinitz summarized by saying that if the final deal with Iran ends up failing, there will be enormous problems all over the Middle East and the rest of world.

"The end result might be that Iran remains a threshold nuclear state with the condition that they are transparent with their capabilities, and this is very dangerous," he said. 

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