News / Middle East

Israeli Minister: No Time Left for Negotiations With Iran

Yuval Steinitz speaks during an interview in New York, Jan. 28, 2013 file photo.
Yuval Steinitz speaks during an interview in New York, Jan. 28, 2013 file photo.
Reuters
Iran is on course to develop a nuclear bomb within six months and time has run out for further negotiations, a senior Israeli minister said.

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said Iran still believed it had room for maneuver in dealing with world powers, and that unless it faced a credible threat of U.S. military action, it would not stop its nuclear activities.

“There is no more time to hold negotiations,” Steinitz, who is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in an interview with the Israel Hayom daily published on Friday.

The United States and its allies suspect Iran is working towards a nuclear weapons capability despite Tehran's insistence that its atomic program has only peaceful aims.

During four years of international negotiations over its disputed nuclear program, during which U.N.-sponsored sanctions have hit Iran's economy hard, Steinitz said the Islamic Republic had only improved its capabilities.

“If the Iranians continue to run, in another half a year they will have bomb capability,” he said.

Israel has dismissed overtures to the West by new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and his pledge in an interview on U.S. television that Iran would never develop nuclear weapons.

“One must not be fooled by the Iranian president's fraudulent words,” Netanyahu's office said in a statement on Thursday. “The Iranians are spinning in the media so that the centrifuges can keep on spinning.”

Both Israel and the United States have hinted at possible military action to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran should sanctions and diplomacy fail to curb its atomic program.

But Steinitz said a phrase used often in the past by U.S. and Israeli leaders - that “all options are on the table” in confronting Iran - was not enough to persuade Tehran to stop its uranium enrichment.

“I am sure that had there been three aircraft carriers with an American declaration that in the event the Iranians do not honor the Security Council decisions, the Americans are expected to attack by 2013, they would have acted differently,” he said.

“Today the Iranians take into account that they have room to maneuver, and that is the most dangerous thing,” he said.

Iran says its nuclear work is entirely peaceful and calls Israel's presumed atomic arsenal the bigger danger to the region.

Steinitz said Netanyahu had learned a lesson from Syria, where the world has stood largely by while over 100,000 people have died in two and a half years of civil war.

“It must be understood that no one will come to help us if, heaven forfend, we lose the ability to defend ourselves. Therefore we must do everything to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he said.

Netanyahu is due to meet U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Sept. 30 and has said that he wants to focus on Iran during the talks.

You May Like

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs