PM: Iranian nukes endanger Mideast, world peace

Prime minister says the significance of IAEA report is that int'l community must act to stop Tehran's pursuit of nukes.

By REUTERS, JPOST.COM STAFF
November 9, 2011 18:13
3 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu [file]

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called on the international community to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons following a report by the UN nuclear watchdog that said Tehran appears to have worked on designing an atomic bomb.

"The significance of the report is that the international community must bring about the cessation of Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, which endanger the peace of the world and of the Middle East," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.

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"The IAEA report corroborates the position of the international community, and of Israel, that Iran is developing nuclear weapons," the statement added.

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Also on Wednesday, opposition leader Tzipi Livni embarked on a media campaign in an effort to convince the international community to take action against Iran's nuclear program. Speaking with The Jerusalem Post and nine different foreign media outlets, Livni called the Iranian issue, "not political."

“Today, the whole world faces an important test: Will they understand that Iran is a threat that must be taken care of?” Livni told the Post.

The Kadima leader explained that Iran is not a political issue.

“This is not something that a particular prime minister is advocating,” she said. “This isn’t an effort for just one side. We must try to bring a strong international decision.”

Livni's media campaign is focusing specifically on Russia and China, in hopes of convincing the two key countries to intensify their opposition to Tehran in the UN Security Council.

“The report revealed a truth that Israel has been saying for years: Iran is in a nuclear arms race, and Iran must be stopped,” she said in interviews with Russian national television and radio, as well as China’s official news agency.

“Until now, China and Russia avoided dramatic sanctions for economic reasons,” Livni explained to the Post. “In the past, I tried to convince them, but the answer I received is that there is no proof.”

“Now there is proof that this isn’t a Zionist plot,” she added.

As far as China’s claim that the IAEA report doesn’t offer sufficient proof to act against Iran, Livni said “whoever is looking for an excuse can find it, but this is a serious report. They can’t argue with it.”

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Iranian threat

In interviews with Chinese and Russian media, as well as the BBC, AP, Reuters, CNN, Moscow Television and Sky News, Livni explained that “Tehran’s behavior is a problem for the entire free world. It is time to act.”

“Iran is not only an Israeli problem; it never was. It is a problem for the whole world, and if Tehran will reach its goals, the whole world will pay the price,” she said.

“World leaders must work together and take action,” Livni added. “Make the obvious conclusions from this report. You cannot claim that you don’t have enough information.”

“Iran must be stopped. The time to act is now. There is no longer a dilemma on this issue,” she said.

Earlier Wednesday, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) called the IAEA report “an opportunity for the free world to take action.”

Speaking from the US, Mofaz told Army Radio that he thinks “the time has come to intensify sanctions and paralyze the Iranian economy.”

“The report exposed the true face of Iran and its intentions,” the Kadima MK said. “Anyone who thinks he’s immune [to the Iranian threat] is making a mistake.”

Mofaz, who was born in Tehran and moved to Israel at age 9, explained that Iran’s missile range could reach most European capitals, and will bring “a balance of terror in the Middle East.”

He contended that “military action of any kind, particularly from Israel, is the last and worst course of action at this time, but all options must be on the table and ready.”

“We will not accept a nuclear Iran,” Mofaz said.


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