Israel, the only possessor nuclear arms in the Middle East, has called for military threat and harsher sanctions, as leverage to exert more pressure on Iran during talks over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
“A diplomatic solution is better than a military option, but a military option is necessary for diplomacy to succeed as a powerful sanction because of the pressure,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a forum hosted by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution on Sunday.
Netanyahu added that without the threat of a military option against Iran, sanctions imposed on the country would further erode following the interim deal between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
“Steps must be taken to prevent further erosion of the sanctions because ultimately the sanctions remain an essential element of the international effort to compel Iran to dismantle its nuclear military infrastructure, to take apart all its centrifuges,” the Israeli premier said.
Netanyahu had earlier denounced as a “historic mistake” the November 24 interim deal between Iran and the Sextet – Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany – which was reached despite expansive lobbying efforts by Tel Aviv.
The interim deal is aimed at laying the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.
In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Furthermore, no new sanctions should be imposed against Iran over the course of the next six months.
The Israeli premier added that Iran must dismantle its enrichment program altogether.
This is while Israel is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East with an estimated 200 to 400 nuclear warheads.
Israeli rejects all regulatory international nuclear agreements, particularly the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), maintaining a policy of deliberate ambiguity over its nuclear activities and refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspections.
The US, Israel and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program. Tehran strongly rejects the accusation as politically motivated, insisting its nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purposes.
Meanwhile, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence showing that Iran’s nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.
By Press TV
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