Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Tuesday that severe sanctions would not stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Iran has said that it needs greater levels of depleted uranium than what it already owns in order to run ships and submarines.
During a meeting with foreign diplomats on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of Israel’s establishment on large parts of Palestinian land, Netanyahu said that it is necessary to prevent Iran from owning nuclear power.
Referring to North Korea, Netanyahu said that severe sanctions did not stop a “rogue state” from owning nuclear weapons.
Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have repeatedly announced that Iran is very close to producing a nuclear bomb. They claim that there is a secret military facility in Iran’s nuclear programme. Iran denies such Israeli and Western claims and insists that its programmes is for only civilian purposes.
It says that its programme is designed for scientific research and energy production.
Meanwhile, referring to the fact that Israel can target Tehran’s nuclear facilities without American, Israeli Defence Minister, Beni Gantz, said that his forces are able to confront the Iranian nuclear programme.
Answering a question on Israeli radio about whether Israel is able to attack Iran alone, Gantz replied: “Absolutely, yes.” He added that his forces had already planned this.
The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Gantz ruled out a potential Israeli attack on Iran soon.
Iran has repeatedly warned that it would respond to any Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities with painful strikes.
The Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoun Abbasi-Divani, announced on Tuesday in Tehran that his country does not have plans to enrich uranium above 20 per cent except for ships and submarines.
“In some cases such as ships and submarines, if our researchers have a need for greater presence under the sea, we must build small engines which require fuel enriched from 45 to 56 per cent,” he said during a conference held in Sharif University in Tehran.
He denied reports that his country has already raised uranium enrichment to 50 per cent.
In the latest talks with the 5+1 group in the Kazakhstani capital of Almaty, Iran insisted on its right to enrich uranium on its soil. It refused a proposal to suspend uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of some US and EU sanctions outside the US frame.
Abbasi accused nuclear powers, which are members of the UNSC, led by the US of politicising Iran’s nuclear programme.