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Netanyahu says not seeking war with Iran - CNN

May 1, 2018 at 12:59 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [Israel Ministry of Foreign Aff/Flickr]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today said Israel was not seeking war with Iran, one day after unveiling what he said was evidence of Tehran’s secret efforts in spite of a multilateral deal aimed at limiting its nuclear weapons programme.

Asked if Israel is prepared to go to war against Iran, Netanyahu told CNN in an interview: “Nobody’s seeking that kind of development. Iran is the one that’s changing the rules in the region.”

According to a senior Israeli official, Netanyahu had informed US President Donald Trump about evidence of a past secret Iranian nuclear weapons programme at a meeting in Washington on 5 March.

Trump agreed that Israel would publish the information before 12 May, the date by which he is due to decide whether to pull the United States out of a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran.

Read: Israel says Iran lied on nuclear arms, pressures US to scrap deal

When asked if Israel has nuclear weapons, Netanyahu said it had “not introduced them”. Israel has long been said to have nuclear weapons in a programme which remains top secret. In 1986 former nuclear technician and peace activist, Mordechai Vanunu revealed details of Israel’s nuclear weapons program to the British press. He was subsequently jailed for 18 years.

In a prime-time televised statement on Monday night Netanyahu presented what he said were Iranian documents obtained in a daring Israeli intelligence operation that purportedly prove Iran had been developing nuclear weapons before the 2015 deal that it signed with the US and world powers.