Differences between Israel and the US over the world powers’ negotiating
strategy with Iran came into the open Thursday when US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton talked of the need for Iran to come to nuclear talks ready to
curb its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity.
“We want them to
come prepared to take concrete steps, particularly in the area of 20%
enrichment,” Clinton told reporters in Istanbul, referring to the upcoming
meeting on Iran’s nuclear program scheduled for Moscow on June
Enriching uranium to 20% brings it closer to developing bomb grade
In recent days Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has made clear
that he does not believe curbing the enrichment to 20% is sufficient, and that
in previous talks with the Iranians the world demanded that it stop all its
enrichment, even to 3.5%.
“The P5+1 is so keen on getting any agreement,
that they have lowered the demands,” Netanyahu said this week in an interview
with Germany’s Bild
newspaper, referring to the US, Russia, China, France,
Britain and Germany, which are engaged with the Iranians.
were only asked to stop 20% enrichment of uranium. That doesn’t stop their
nuclear program in any way. It actually allows them to continue their nuclear
program,” he declared.
One government official said that the
international community was well aware that Israel did not think what was
currently being asked of the Iranians was enough.
Jerusalem has said that
Iran needed to stop all uranium enrichment, transfer all enriched uranium out of
the country and close down the underground nuclear facility at Qom.
addition, Israeli officials have called on the P5+1 to stiffen existing economic
sanctions, upgrade demands and make it clear to the Iranians that “one way or
another” it will not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.Reuters
contributed to this report.