Mofaz: Iran must completely end its nuke program

Opposition leader tells visiting Italian PM anyone who thinks Iran's nuclear program is peaceful is "deluding himself."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 9, 2012 15:22
1 minute read.
Mofaz speaks at Knesset

Mofaz speaks at Knesset 370. (photo credit: Knesset Spokesman)

 
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The international community must work towards stopping Iran's nuclear program completely, and anyone who believes Iran is pursuing a peaceful nuclear program is "deluding himself," opposition leader Shaul Mofaz told the visiting Italian prime minister on Monday.

He made the comments days before nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers were set to commence.

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"The goal standing ahead of the international powers, and especially the United States, is stopping Iran's nuclear program," Mofaz told Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in Jerusalem. "Any other option is not enough to ensure world peace and regional stability."

Mofaz's remarks came after a New York Times report said the US could accept an Iranian civilian nuclear program if Tehran agrees to close its underground Fordow nuclear facility, and transfer out of the country uranium that has been enriched to 20 percent. US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have both mentioned the US could live with a nuclear Iran, as long as its intentions are not aimed at developing a nuclear bomb.

Mofaz - who replaced Tzipi Livni as Kadima head and opposition leader at the end of last month - rejected Iran's insistence that its nuclear development is for peaceful purposes only, saying anyone who still believes this claim is "deluding himself."

"The only way to monitor the Iranian nuclear program is to bring it to an end. This is the Obama administration's task and its test," he told Monti.

The opposition leader took a more hardline approach to Iran's nuclear program than the prime minister and defense minister, who both made their own list of demands in the run-up to the international talks, set to take resume in Istanbul on Saturday after previous talks collapsed more than year ago.

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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with his Italian counterpart in Jerusalem on Sunday, where he told him that Israel wanted Iran to clear out all enriched uranium, stop enriching uranium, and close Fordow, a nuclear facility built deep inside a mountain near the holy city of Qom.

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