netanyahu navy tour 248 88 gpo.
(photo credit: GPO)
Underscoring Israel's military might in the face of the Iranian threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned on Tuesday about the dangers of a nuclear Iran after visiting a submarine believed capable of firing nuclear-tipped missiles.
Netanyahu also took a ride on an Israeli missile ship that led the raid earlier this month on the Francop, which was loaded with arms Israel says were shipped from Iran and bound for Hizbullah.
"The threat that Iran poses is very grave for the state of Israel, for peace in the Middle East and the whole world," he said aboard the missile ship INS Eilat. "Without any doubt, we are the first target, but not the last."
The submarine that Netanyahu visited was one of three Dolphin-class vessels built in Germany that foreign press reports have said are carrying nuclear warheads. Two more are on order.
Israel has never confirmed the submarines have nuclear capabilities, as it never has confirmed media reports that it possesses a stockpile of nuclear weapons.
Also on Tuesday, Iran's nuclear envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh denied that the UN inspectors tour of its recently revealed uranium enrichment site had turned up any evidence that the Islamic republic was seeking nuclear weapons.
While the International Atomic Energy Agency report offered no estimate of the facility's capacity, analysts familiar with the agency's work said it appeared to be capable of producing enough material for a warhead but too little for a civilian reactor.
Following Monday's account that the IAEA had concerns about possible additional secret Iranian nuclear facilities, Soltanieh said that the IAEA's report proved the country's program was peaceful and that Iran was cooperating with the agency's inspectors.
"The report by the agency showed that there was no deviation in Iran's peaceful nuclear program," he said on Iranian television.
The agency's report said that the facility was in an advanced state of construction with high tech equipment in place ahead of its 2011 startup.
The revelation of the existence of the plant known as Fordo, near Qom, heightened concerns that other possible undeclared facilities not subject to IAEA oversight could exist and be used for military purposes.