PM: Iran continues to enrich uranium despite talks

"Iran is showing contempt for the whole world, and plans to enrich beyond 20%," Netanyahu tells Knesset c'tee.

July 2, 2012 17:40
2 minute read.
Uranium centrifuges.

Uranium 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The three series of talks between world powers and Iran lacked real results, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.

“The Iranians continue enriching [uranium],” Netanyahu said. “They declared they will not backtrack from their plans even by a millimeter.”

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So far, the prime minister explained, enrichment is at three percent, enough for four bombs. Therefore, the world is asking Tehran to stop enrichment at 20%.

“Iran is showing contempt for the whole world, and plans to enrich beyond 20%,” Netanyahu stated. “They do not see determination on the world powers’ part to stop the nuclearization.”

According to the prime minister, sanctions are damaging Iran’s economy, but they are only “uncomfortable” for Tehran, and not severe.

“The Iranian issue is not an obsession, but healthy sense,” Netanyahu said. “It is a huge threat on our people.”

A “nuclear umbrella” will make problems with rockets from Gaza more complicated than they are now, he added.

There are stockpiles of weapons that can reach Tel Aviv in Gaza, the prime minister explained, and Palestinians in Gaza continue to arm themselves and grow stronger.

The prime minister also reviewed relations with Egypt, saying “we must be ready for all possibilities.”

He pointed out that the situation in Sinai is worsening, and that the region has become an “arms depot and firing range for Hamas missiles.”

The IDF has taken the changes in Egypt into account, and work on the border fence continues.

“We need to prepare, but we hope the peace treaty will continue,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister condemned “the massacre [Syrian President Bashar] Assad is inflicting on his people with the help of Iran and Hezbollah,” which he said has daily contact with the Assad regime.

However, Netanyahu said that there are no opposition figures who stand out as a possible replacement for the Syrian president.

“The pressure on Assad is growing stronger,” he stated. “It is not clear what will happen the day after [he is deposed].”

Netanyahu also warned of arms smuggling moving from Syria to Hezbollah, expressing concern that al-Qaida and global jihad could obtain the weaponry.

In addition, the prime minister said that Israel is preparing for the possibility that the Golan will become “a border with terror.”

Netanyahu discussed peace talks, saying that they must begin without preconditions.

He added that it is in the Israeli interest to make sure the Palestinians do not fall into an economic crisis, which could reach Israel.

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