News / Middle East

    Netanyahu Issues Warning on Iran Uranium Enrichment

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the AIPAC meeting at the Washington Convention Center,  March 4, 2014, in Washington.
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the AIPAC meeting at the Washington Convention Center, March 4, 2014, in Washington.
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says international efforts to restrict Iran's nuclear program must include a complete end to its enriching uranium.  Talks underway appear aimed at allowing Iran to enrich some uranium at lower-grade levels.

    Netanyahu says any agreement that allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium would threaten Israeli security by opening up the floodgates of nuclear proliferation.

    "Unfortunately, the leading powers of the world are talking about leaving Iran with the capability to enrich uranium," he said. "I hope they do not do that because that would be a grave error."

    He told a meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington that real security will only come with the destruction of all of Iran's centrifuges, its underground enrichment facilities, and its heavy-water reactor as well as stockpiles of enriched uranium.

    "The greatest threat to our common security is that of a nuclear-armed Iran," he said. "We must prevent Iran from having the capability to produce nuclear weapons."

    Tehran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful, civilian purposes.  It is engaged in talks with the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council as well as Germany to limit that program in exchange for relief from some international sanctions.

    U.S. officials involved in those talks say there is general agreement Iran will be allowed to retain some uranium enrichment. But that would be at levels far below Iran's 20 percent enriched uranium, which is just a few steps short of weapons-grade.

    In a Monday meeting with Netanyahu at the White House, President Barack Obama said the U.S. commitment to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon is absolute.

    Secretary of State John Kerry told the pro-Israel AIPAC that Washington will not accept a bad deal just to have a deal with Iran.

    "This is not a process that is about trusting Tehran," he said. "This is about testing Tehran. And you can be sure if Iran fails this test, America will not fail Israel."

    Israel has long reserved the right to strike Iran militarily to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. But Kerry said that is no guarantee of long-term security.

    "Those who say strike and hit need to go look at what happens after you have done that," he said. "Whether that permanently eliminates the program or opens up all kinds of other possibilities including Iran leaving the nuclear proliferation treaty, not even allowing IAEA inspectors in, not living under any international regiment. That is a possibility. Only strong diplomacy can guarantee that a nuclear weapons program can go away. For good."

    Israeli concerns about negotiating with Iran are shared by Saudi Arabia, two key allies Washington is working to reassure.

    While attentive to those concerns, American University professor Hillary Mann Leverett says the Obama administration should not allow Israel and Saudi Arabia to block a potentially-historic re-engagement with Tehran.

    She says, "The United States is going to have to say: 'Yes you are our allies but you can not stand in the way of critical U.S. interests.' Just as when Nixon went to China we kept Japan and Taiwan as allies but we didn't let them stand in the way of the biggest geopolitical prize of the century: going to China. The same thing has to happen with Iran."

    In addition to Iran, Netanyahu differs with the Obama administration over important parts of a framework for peace with Palestinians, including the borders of a two-state solution and continued Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

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    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    March 07, 2014 6:43 AM
    Please go and study history, before you come up here and embarrassed yourself like that. Cuz the issue is not about land, cuz if you read or follow history, Israel give the so call palestinian lot of their Biblical homeland. Israel has the right to claim of that land. Please read some of my articles and learn or do your own study you will see what we have been talking. God bless Israel

    by: Chukwuemeka Ukor from: lagos,Nigeria
    March 07, 2014 2:34 AM
    But on thé other hand isreal must not take eveything all.they must give up that part of palestinians lands they are occupynng because that part of thé land is not théir own.Just as i still maintain that irans must stop totally théir uraniums enrichment programmes or élse isreal will strike thèm to save théir lands.

    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    March 06, 2014 4:46 AM
    You are on the wrong side of history. Israel was there even before America, the UK, and some other country were founded. If you are a Christian or not, anytime you are fighting against Israel, be careful, lest you find yourself fighting against God. Israel is God's country, that is why we support Israel. To all the Jews haters if you are a Christian read Psalm 83, Ezekiel 35, Ezekiel 38 and 39, take your own time and learn what your creator say about his people. You are on the wrong side of history. It is time that we all stand up for the true. God Bless Israel

    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    March 06, 2014 2:02 AM
    If Iran is so bad enough as your think, Their Ship is in Israeli seaport right now., They have a reason to declare war now, why they cannot go for their ship? That ship is flying Iranian flag, meaning it is Iran property. let them go for their property. hahaha, Iran is bluffing.

    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    March 06, 2014 12:19 AM
    Yesterday the Iranians and the Jews haters witness this live, that the IDF seized the Iranian Vessel carrying stock of Arms to Gaza, Right now as we speak, the Vessel is at the Israeli sea port. what do you have to say Ralph? Israel slap you right in your face, I am telling you, Iran cannot defeat Israel. You have to accept the fact, that Israel rules. and Iran is just bluffing. God Bless Israel. I support the Jewish State

    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    March 05, 2014 11:55 PM
    Even if Iran gets nuclear weapon, what can she do to Israel? Nothing. Israel will massacre Iran. Iran is just another victory for the IDF. We are challenging any Jews hater ot Arab support to prove beyond any reasonable doubt, that that land is for the Arabs. We have already shown to the world and the Jews haters that Allah, the Arab people god, give the land to the Children of Israel. your Koran gives proof that the land of Israel is for the Jews, Now let the Jews hater disproved us and their Koran. this thing is very simple. You are wasting your time, Iran is afraid of Israel. Israel killed Iranian scientists, what did they do? nothing. Israel bomb Syrian Nuclear facility with Iran Scientists in there, what did they do nothing. Israel bomb Syrian convoy carrying arms load of weapon to Lebanon, with Iranian general and Hezbollah general in the particular convoy, what did the both parties did? nothing. Iran just talking all that jazz. God Bless Israel

    by: Ralph Kinary from: Tampa
    March 05, 2014 8:25 AM
    I want Iran to get nuclear weapons as a deterrence to Israel's expansionist goals. A poll of Israeli Jews by the Brookings Institute about the peace talks showed that 53% felt that their would be no success due to "Eretz Yisrael" (Greater Israel) the messianic and expansionist goal of taking over most of the Mideast, including part of Iran because their real estate broker God gave them the land 2000 years ago. This violent takeover includes the murder and expulsion of all non-Jews. Israel is the only country in the Mideast with expansionist goals. Another poll came out recently of Israel Jews by Haaretz that showed that 58% believe that Israel is an apartheid state and many took pride in this fact.
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    March 05, 2014 12:07 PM
    Ralph, think you need to see your psychiatrist, or have you been there recently? God is not one you should address that way, understand? That he promised Israel their influence will spread from coast to coast is not to be interpreted in your term of expansionism. No. But you are aware that due to their blessing from God Israel's influence in the world is enormous. So if you are envious of that, ask your own god to do same for you, Ok?

    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    March 05, 2014 5:39 AM
    Iran is nothing, Iran just trying to flex her muscles, Iran is a piece of bread to Israel. Judge for yourself, you think if Iran could defeat Israel,by this time there would have been no Israel. But as I said Iran is bluffing. Iran is just coming into technology, Iran is behind time, Iran is late. If Iran fire rockets into Israel, Iran will pay a hard price. That tiny Israel has one of the world strongest army,So Iran knows not to mess with Israel, Iran is just bluffing. Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2000, and kept on saying Israel should be wipe off the map. where is he? he is gone, Israel is still here. Iran is bluffing, she just want to be heard. God Bless Israel, we stand with the Jews

    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    March 05, 2014 5:06 AM
    The Iranian Government has not stop enrichment, Iran was and is in defyant to international laws, rules and regulation. Iran is not only threat to Israel, But also to her surrounding neighbor, Including India. The Iranian Government has killed lot of Jewish people, under the hand Hezbollah Terrorist group, under the hands of Hamas, and under the hands of the so call palestinians. So what give them the right to killed the Jews and the Jews cannot do the same? The Iranian Government must have some respect for international laws. I can assured you that Iran cannot shake Israel. ain't no way. Matter of fact, Iran is afraid of Israel. Just two weeks ago, the Iran was trying to buy F 16 spare parts from Israel.hahaha, War is a dirty game, that is what Iran is doing. what makes Iran thinks she will fire rockets into Israel, and Israel will not rain rockets on them? let Iran try and see, she will gets what coming for her. So PM. Netanyahu must do what is best in the people of Israel interest. We stand with Israel, we support Israel

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    March 05, 2014 4:09 AM
    It can't be said better. Uranium enrichment inside Iran would be the gravest mistake ever! No other country of the world should be as worried over Iran’s nuclear ambition as Israel which has been openly threatened by Iran to wipe out of world map. Everyone knows the motto of international terror organizations mostly sponsored by the Islamic world, chief of which is Iran – to destroy Israel. Now going by John Kerry’s statement, “… not about trusting… but testing Tehran”, shows exactly what makes the experiment grave or dire. You do not experiment with people’s lives. Tehran is not be trusted that it is not going to fire the first nuclear bomb at Israel as soon as it get its. Whatever America is going to do after the bomb has left the nuzzle will be medicine after death. How big is Israel to be able to still remain after just one drop of the bomb on its soil? Saying 'US is committed to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon is absolute' is a statement of naivety that lacks merit or any ability to convince even a little child. For how can the US ensure this when Tehran continues to enrich uranium and refine plutonium?

    The only sure way of preventing it is through total stoppage of enrichment inside Iran. That there is a general agreement that Iran retains a level of enrichment was not the initial or original arrangement – at least it was not the position of USA at the beginning of the negotiations, and that goes to show how weakened USA has become in international diplomacy, in a world where it boasts of being the only superpower. And John Kerry further expresses a position of weakness of USA alluding to what happens after a strike. By that statement he shows that the saying that all options are on the table has been a lie. And in the absence of the strike option, what is there to really put the pressure on Tehran to play ball?

    Simply put, USA has sold out the negotiations and cannot be trusted to deliver on it. It is a defeatist agenda unfortunately. That brings to mind the sorts of advisers calling the shots at the White House and around the academia. Not every advise is good for the country and its relationship with allies. Those who see relations with Tehran as potentially historic re-engagement may be in reality not being sincere with whatever they are saying. Some of those advices come from not a true desire to foster good relations but from personal, deep-rooted desire to harm it. Moving towards a harmless China is not the same as courting a country ruled by the Ayatollahs, which deny the holocaust and want countries wiped out of the world map, a purely hate situation that China never was, is, or will be.
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