News / Middle East

Israel Demands Tougher Action on Iran's Nuclear Program

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, November 13, 2011.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, November 13, 2011.

Israel is demanding tougher international action on Iran's nuclear program, following new revelations by the U.N. nuclear watchdog. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency proves what Israel has been saying all along.

He told the Cabinet that the report shows “that Iran is systematically developing nuclear weapons.”

In his first public comments since the report was published last week, Netanyahu said every responsible government must draw the obvious conclusions.

He called for the international community to stop Iran's race for nuclear weapons, which he said “endangers the peace of the entire world.”

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and it described the IAEA report as “politically motivated.”

But Israel sees Iran’s nuclear program as an existential threat, and it has been alarmed by statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has threatened to wipe the Jewish state “off the map.”

Netanyahu has said that there are two ways to force Iran to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons: “crippling” sanctions and a “credible military option.”

But if the international community fails to stop Iran, Israel has threatened to take military action on its own.  Iran has warned that if Israel or the United States launch an attack on its nuclear facilities, it will retaliate with an “iron fist.”

With that in mind, Israel has been conducting civil defense drills to prepare the home front for possible ballistic missile attacks from Iran.

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