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Israeli PM Warns: Iran is Close to Nuclear Weapons Unless Stopped by the West

Israeli PM Warns: Iran is Close to Nuclear Weapons Unless Stopped by the West

Monday, 13 June, 2022 - 08:15
Bushehr nuclear facility, south Iran (AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has warned that Tehran was drawing "dangerously close" to producing nuclear weapons unless the West stands up to the regime.

During an interview with The Telegraph on Saturday, Bennett urged Britain to maintain pressure on Tehran's leaders, saying, "Iran is enriching uranium at an unprecedented rate and moving dangerously close to getting their hands on nuclear weapons."

Bennett's statement comes amid reports that Tehran has begun enriching uranium at levels exceeding 60 percent, which is enough to make a bomb, but Tehran denies seeking to build nuclear weapons.

The Telegraph reported that Israel asked Britain to consider a "tripwire" mechanism to deter Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb, stressing that this mechanism would be separate from any possible future deal between Tehran and the West.

"Without pressure from the West, the Islamic regime in Iran could get their hands on a nuclear bomb very soon. The world must take a firm stance and tell the Islamic regime in Iran: no nukes, no sanctions. Iran's nuclear program won't stop until it's stopped," he said.

Earlier, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, criticized Iran over its nuclear program last Wednesday, hours after Tehran announced that it had turned off some of the IAEA's cameras monitoring its nuclear sites.

Last Thursday, Iran announced it had started pumping gas into advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges.

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Mohammad Eslami, said the decision was in line with international regulations.

Eslami did not specify where the centrifuges in question were located. But his announcement came on the same day the IAEA reported that Tehran had informed it of its plan to install two new cascades of advanced centrifuges at the underground Natanz nuclear facility, allowing it to enrich uranium rapidly.

Iran reached an agreement in 2015 that limits its nuclear program in exchange for easing international sanctions, but former US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in 2018.

After the US withdrawal, Tehran reneged on some of its commitments to the agreement starting in 2019, and several European countries expressed growing concern about how far Iran has gone in resuming its nuclear activities.

Iran began establishing large stockpiles of enriched uranium, some of which are enriched above the levels needed for nuclear power generation.

US President Joe Biden announced his desire to abide by the 2018 agreement, and talks resumed in April 2021 to revive it, lift sanctions, and get Iran to return to the limits it agreed to on its nuclear activities.

However, negotiations have stalled in recent months, and the European Union's top diplomat Josep Borrell warned last weekend that the possibility of returning to the accord was "shrinking."

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