Netanyahu Updates the Iranian Nuclear Threat
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spent Sunday morning reminding the world – and Israel – that Iran is still focused on moving its nuclear development program forward.
Netanyahu made Iranian nuclear development activities the focus of the weekly Cabinet meeting, warning that one month after national elections, Tehran is rapidly advancing its agenda.
In addition to expanding and improving uranium enrichment technology and facilities, Iran is also in the process of developing a plutonium reactor, Netanyahu reported.
In this way, he said, Tehran will have two ways in which it can create fuel for a nuclear weapon. At the same time, he added, the Islamic Republic is also improving its ballistic missile technology.
“We believe that now, more than ever, it is important to stiffen economic sanctions and present Iran with a credible military option,” Netanyahu said.
On Friday, Israel’s defense establishment successfully completed a test that analysts said was very likely related to Israel’s Jericho ballistic missile system.
In a statement, the Defense Ministry said Israel “successfully conducted the launch of a rocket propulsion system at the Palmachim army base.” Adding that the test was scheduled far in advance by the security establishment, and not in response to any specific event, the ministry added it “was carried out on schedule.”
At the Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu urged the international community to continue to pressure Iran to give up its enriched uranium.
“We are determined to stand firm by our demands, which must become the demands of the international community. “First, to cease all enrichment. Second, to remove from the country all the enriched uranium. And third, to close the illegal nuclear facility at Qom,” he said.
The so-called P5+1 – which includes the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain – has told Iran it must stop enriching uranium to the 20-percent level, a military grade which can be used to fuel a primitive nuclear weapon. But the international group has indicated that Iran can keep in the country some of its stockpiles of uranium that were enriched to a lesser degree, a potentially dangerous compromise.