Netanyahu: Permanent Agreement With Iran Not Possible Without Dismantling Centrifuges
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that if Iran maintains its assertion that it won’t dismantle its nuclear production facilities then a permanent agreement with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program will be impossible.
Pointing out a long history of Iranian untruths and hypocrisy at his weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu cited Iranian President Rouhani as pledging “that Iran would not dismantle even one centrifuge.”
“If Iran persists in saying this it means that the permanent agreement, which is the goal of any diplomatic process with Iran, cannot succeed,” Netanyahu said. “In effect, Iran is insisting on maintaining its ability to attain [enough] fissionable material for a bomb without any time constraints following the breakthrough.”
Last week, world powers finalized an interim deal with Iran that began to ease sanctions against the regime in exchange for increased access to its nuclear facilities and limited restrictions on nuclear production. Later in the week, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in an interview with CNN that “we did not agree to dismantle anything.”
Describing Iran’s latest diplomatic initiatives as an “assault of pleasantness,” Netanyahu asserted that recent developments have proven his previous assessments to be correct, and said that he was waiting to see if the remaining sanctions against Iran will be enforced as the United States has pledged.
“This means that many of the things which we have been saying will come true – are indeed coming true. Of course, there was also an attempt there to break through the sanctions regime. US Secretary of State Kerry told me that the US would act in order to maintain the existing sanctions, which is important, but it is important to see the test of its implementation,” Netanyahu said.
“In any case, Iranian President Rouhani’s remark that Iran would not dismantle even one centrifuge, alongside the interview given by the ‘exceedingly moderate’ Foreign Minister Zarif, in which he made it clear that Iran has an ideological agenda that brings it into perpetual conflict with the West and with the US, because it aspires to see a different world, a different world order, and you know what he means, the combination of these two remarks is causing people to understand that the reality vis-à-vis Iran is not rosy,” the Premier said. “There is a problem here. We know the truth. There is a regime here that, under cover of an assault of smiles, is trying to arm itself with nuclear weapons, to reach the status of a threshold state that could achieve nuclear weapons very quickly, and a country that has not changed its true ideology at all.”
The Prime Minister stressed Israel’s long held position that Iran not be allowed to retain the capability to produce nuclear weapons, and said that he, along with Israel’s President Peres had pushed this position during their recent trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“There are arguments inside Iran. There is an internal struggle within Iran over domestic reforms, but there is no change, not as of now, neither in the military nuclear program nor in Iran’s aggressive policy throughout the Middle East and in regard to terrorism well beyond the Middle East. Therefore, such a country cannot be allowed to have the ability to produce nuclear weapons. This has been, and remains, our policy. I assure you that whoever we came into contact with there heard matters clearly both from myself and from President Peres.”