Economic and diplomatic pressure has failed to stop Iran’s nuclear program,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told British Foreign Minister William Hague
before meeting with him in Jerusalem on Thursday.
“The just released
report of the International Atomic Energy Agency shows clearly that Iran is
continuing to expand its nuclear enrichment program,” Netanyahu said.
parallel, it’s [Iran] working on a heavy-water reactor to build a plutonium-based
bomb,” he said.
“This is the biggest challenge facing us. I think it’s
the biggest challenge of our time,” Netanyahu said.
The IAEA report said
509 IR-2m centrifuges and empty centrifuge casings had been installed since
February, bringing the total to nearly 700, none of which were yet
In addition, “preparatory installation work” has been
completed for many more, it said.
Centrifuges spin at supersonic speed to
increase the fissile isotope in uranium. Experts said it was unclear when
Tehran’s new machines could start operating and how efficiently they would
Netanyahu spoke with Hague and visiting US Secretary of State John
Kerry on Thursday about Iran and Syria.
He thanked Kerry for the US
Senate resolution to stand with Israel against Iran and commended him for the
House Foreign Affairs Committee decision to upgrade Iranian
The two men also discussed Syria with Kerry explaining that
the PM had just met in Amman with 10 ministers, including Hague, and that there
had been an agreement to find a negotiated solution to Syria.
incredible destabilization of Syria, is spilling over into Lebanon, into Jordan,
and has an impact, obviously, on Israel. So we have an obligation to try to see
if we can implement Geneva 1,” Kerry said.
He added that the US was
committed to addressing the issue of the S-300 missiles that Russia and other
countries were sending into Syria for President Bashar Assad.
Channel 2 that Great Britain had spoken with Russia against the shipment to
Assad forces of the S-300 missile.
“We do not support any of the
assistance to the Assad regime, from anywhere,” Hague said.
he told Channel 2, was stepping up its support of “moderate democratically
committed opposing groups” because Assad’s regime has to cede to a transitional
Great Britain, he said, along with the United States, was
working on a solution to Syria because the United Nations Security Council had
“The UN National Security Council has failed in its duty, the
world has failed in its duty,” Hague told Channel 2.
that we have put to try to bring an end to this [Syria’s civil war] has been
vetoed by Russia and China and so the UN Security Council is not acting as it is
meant to act and that leaves us pursuing many other avenues,” said Hague whose
country is a Security Council member.
President Shimon Peres raised the
issue of Syria and Iran with Nicolas Sarkozy, former French president, when the
two men met in Jerusalem. Sarkozy is in Israel to receive an honorary degree
from Netanya’s Academic College.
Sarkozy also met with
Even though Sarkozy had announced after his defeat at the
polls that he was leaving politics, his popularity has soared in recent months
and according to the French media there are many French citizens calling for his
He may yet run against present incumbent Francois Hollande in the
When Peres entered the reception hall in which Sarkozy
was waiting for him on Thursday, the two literally fell into each other’s arms
in a warm embrace before posing for the mandatory handshake photo.
was obviously delighted to see him and said so. “Friends are friends,” he
declared, “and you are one of the greatest demonstrations of that truism.”
Jerusalem Post Annual Conference. Buy it now, Special offer. Come meet Israel's top leaders