UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Israel Calls for 'Rapid Action' Against Iran, Claiming Tehran Is on Path to Obtain Nukes

Sputnik News

Alexandra Kashirina

Israel has been raising concerns over the possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons and has been consistently criticizing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal) since its implementation in 2015, protesting its possible restoration.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has called for an "appropriate and rapid international reaction" against Iran from the international community, citing the recent conclusion from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which said Tehran has violated some JCPOA provisions.

"Israel views with utmost gravity the picture of the situation reflected in the report, which proves that Iran is continuing to lie to the world and advance a program to develop nuclear weapons while denying its international commitments," he said in a statement.

The prime minister called the negotiations with Iran a"naïve" approach and said that the authorities in Tehran should be replaced through a"vigorous stand by the international community, backed up by decisions and actions."

Earlier this week, the IAEA criticized Iran for refusing to provide inspectors with access to video cameras installed at Iranian nuclear facilities. In the absence of regular inspections, halted in February, cameras remain the only form of monitoring. However, the cameras need maintenance, but the inspectors said one of the four cameras was destroyed, and the videos taken by the other cameras have disappeared.

The agency also said Tehran has recently quadrupled its reserves of highly enriched uranium, having at its disposal 10 kilograms of 60-percent enriched material. The amount of 20-percent enriched uranium also increased, from 62.8 to 84.3 kilograms.

Amid the unpredictable outcome of the JCPOA negotiations, Bennett earlier claimed that the Jewish state would do everything to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons since it's not part of the deal.

At a meeting with a bipartisan delegation from the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Bennett noted that the US' return to the nuclear deal would be a mistake and stressed that Israel would not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

The past six rounds of negotiations, concluded on 20 June, have not produced any results yet. Recently, Iran requested a delay amid the inauguration of the new President Ebrahim Raisi on 5 August and the formation of a new government. Raisi is said to support a harder line on Israel in comparison with his more moderate predecessor Hassan Rouhani.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Tehran that further delay would put the sides of the deal "closer to the point at which a strict return to compliance with the JCPOA does not reproduce the benefits that that agreement achieved."

Tehran has repeatedly said that it does not plan to construct nuclear weapons, stating that it will comply with the agreement's provisions if sanctions, reimposed after the US withdrawal from the treaty in 2018, are lifted.

© Sputnik

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list