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October 10, 2013 2:35 pm

Israeli Official: Iran Nuclear Offer ‘A Joke’

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The Arak IR-40 heavy water reactor in Iran. Photo: Nanking2012/Wikimedia Commons. Officials in Jerusalem on Wednesday rejected Iran’s proposal to halt uranium enrichment to 20 percent, with one official from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office saying, “No deal is better than a bad deal.”

According to the official, the Iranians are offering to give up something that does not hurt their enrichment activities and could still bring them to being a nuclear threshold state, and no one should be tempted to accept the offer.

Israeli Strategic Affairs, Intelligence and International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz called the Iranian gesture “a joke,” Israel Hayom reported.

“Closing the Fordo compound means that Iran, in its first year of going nuclear, would be able to make five instead of six atomic bombs,” he said. “Capping enrichment at 20 percent is less significant now that Iran has 20,000 centrifuges. Israel is ready for a real, serious diplomatic solution, meaning an Iranian nuclear program that operates similarly to Canada and Mexico’s nuclear infrastructure: Iran could generate electricity at its reactor, but would need to purchase the nuclear fuel to operate it from other countries.”

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