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Israel’s Netanyahu Urges Greater Pressure on Iran, as Nuclear Tensions Spike Again

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the UN General Assembly in New York, Sept. 27, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Carlo Allegri.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu urged the international community on Thursday to “pressure Iran until it changes its ways,” as tensions surrounding the Tehran regime’s disputed nuclear program spiked again.

“A year ago, speaking at the UN, I exposed Iran’s secret nuclear warehouse in Turkuzabad,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “This morning, a special board meeting of the IAEA published its findings on Iran’s activities in the no-longer secret facility. The IAEA now confirms that Iran lied. And that Iran continues to lie.”

“Everything I told you a year ago has now been confirmed by the IAEA,” the Israeli leader asserted. “The IAEA has confirmed that Iran has been violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran continues to hide its secret nuclear weapons program.”

“It’s time for the nations of the world to resist Iran’s aggression and terror,” Netanyahu implored. “It’s time to snap back sanctions. Iran must stop attacking the nations of the Middle East. Iran must stop threatening to destroy Israel. Europe must stop stalling. It must act against Iranian aggression now.”

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Earlier on Thursday, Iran confirmed it had resumed uranium enrichment at an underground facility near Fordow — a step distancing itself further from the 2015 nuclear deal it reached with six world powers.

Responding to that news, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated, “Iran’s latest nuclear escalations reflect the regime’s intentions all along: to extort the international community into accepting its violence and terror while it undermines the sovereignty of its neighbors. Members of the international community who are rightly concerned with Iran’s latest attacks and provocations should imagine how Iran would behave with a nuclear weapon. The United States will never allow this to happen.”

“Iran’s expansion of proliferation-sensitive activities raises concerns that Iran is positioning itself to have the option of a rapid nuclear breakout,” Pompeo charged. “It is now time for all nations to reject this regime’s nuclear extortion and take serious steps to increase pressure. Iran’s continued and numerous nuclear provocations demand such action.”

Benny Gantz — the head of Israel’s Blue and White party who currently holds the mandate to try to form the next government following September’s inconclusive Knesset elections — tweeted, “The exposure of renewed activity at the Fordow reactor is yet another wake-up call to the world — we must increase pressure and tighten sanctions. Iran poses a threat to world peace. Iran poses a threat to stability in the Middle East. Iran poses a threat to Israel.”

“There is no such thing as politics when it comes to the Iranian threat — here, we are one, committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” the ex-IDF chief of staff added.

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