Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday that his upcoming meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington scheduled for March 5 will largely center around Iran's continued development of its nuclear program.
Speaking at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu said, "Our region is volatile and quickly changing in the North, South and East, including the atrocious massacre we are seeing in Syria against innocent civilians. All of these subjects will be raised at the meeting, but one issue will be central: the increasing power of Iran."
I will meet with President Barack Obama in Washington
before that, with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa.
Of course, our region is in an unsettled state and is quickly changing in all directions
including the deplorable massacres that we see
being perpetrated against innocent civilians in Syria
While we will discuss all of these issues
there is no doubt that one issue will be at the center of our talks
that is, of course, the continued strengthening of Iran and its nuclear program.
Whoever needed it, received additional, biting proof in the form of the IAEA's latest report
which proves that Israel's assessments were correct
that Iran is continuing to make rapid progress in its nuclear program
while defying and grossly ignoring the decisions of the international community.
Netanyahu's comments came after the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report
on Friday, which said that Iran has sharply stepped up its controversial uranium enrichment drive.
The IAEA report to member states showed Iran had carried out a significant expansion of activities at its main enrichment plant near the central city of Natanz, and also increased work at the Fordow underground facility.
Enriched uranium can be used to fuel nuclear power plants, which is Iran's stated aim, or provide material for bombs if refined much further, which the West suspects is Tehran's ultimate aim.
Netanyahu stated on Saturday
that the IAEA report proves that Iran is continuing its nuclear program "without let-up," despite interantional sanctions levied against the Islamic republic.
Iran "is enriching uranium to a high level of 20%, while grossly ignoring the demands of the international community," Netanyahu said in a written statement.
Netanyahu was scheduled to travel to the United States next week, where he will address the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC's annual policy conference, which will be held from March 4-6. The March 5 meeting between Netanyahu and Obama will mark the first face-to-face-conversation between the leaders since they met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September.