Israeli PM Netanyahu Says Only Reason for Iran Uranium Enrichment is for Nuclear Weapons
Upon his return to Israel, after addressing the United Nations last week in New York, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said the world must remain focused on ending Iran’s nuclear enrichment capability.
At the start of the government’s weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at producing warheads, not energy. He noted that 17 countries today produce their own nuclear energy without operating a single centrifuge, the only purpose of which is to enrich fissionable material for nuclear weapons.
Netanyahu said Israel would not oppose direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear use, and suggested that sanctions be continued because the economic pressure is forcing the government to respond to the international community.
“I returned over the weekend from the US where I held a long and in-depth meeting with President Obama. We discussed our common interest in preventing Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon. We also raised the issue, myself and the members of my delegation, at the UN, in Congress and in meetings with public opinion leaders,” Netanyahu said.
“The main thing that we are working to achieve is to prevent Iran’s enrichment capability. We do not oppose diplomatic negotiations with Iran”
“We insist that these negotiations lead to the dismantling of Iran’s enrichment capability. Iran claims that it wants this for nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Seventeen countries produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without even one centrifuge. They produce this energy without centrifuges and without enrichment because enrichment is a main process in producing fissionable material for nuclear bombs.”
“Whoever does not want fissionable material and nuclear bombs does not insist on enrichment; therefore, Iran – which has violated all understandings and misled time and time again, which has declared its intention to destroy the State of Israel and, of course, has violated other decisions as well, and which leads terrorism on five continents – must not be allowed to have an enrichment capability. This is the most important point.”
“The sanctions on Iran are working. They are very strong; they are a moment away from achieving their goal. The sanctions must not be eased before the goal of dismantling Iran’s enrichment capability, in effect, the ability to produce nuclear weapons, is achieved. This was the focus of the talks. There were other issues as well which I will discuss in the appropriate forums.”