Israel: Iran must stop enrichment

2012-05-09 20:59

Jerusalem - Israel on Wednesday accused Iran of stalling in negotiations over its nuclear programme with the international community, and said an upcoming round of talks can succeed only if the Iranians agree to halt all uranium enrichment.

Israel is staking out a hardline stance ahead of the May 23 talks in Baghdad, where six world powers will sit down with Iranian officials in hopes of resolving the stand-off. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who considers a nuclear-armed Tehran to be a mortal threat, has hinted he would order an attack on Iran if he concludes that international diplomacy and sanctions have failed.

Israel, like the West, believes Iran is trying to develop a nuclear bomb. Enriched uranium is a key ingredient in an atomic weapon, although it can also be used in energy production and for medical isotopes.

Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.

Iran held a first nuclear meeting with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany last month in Turkey. The sides hailed the meeting as a key step forward and agreed to meet again in Baghdad.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the visiting EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, on Wednesday that Iran is "playing for time" with these talks, an Israeli official said.

Netanyahu said the talks will be successful only if Iran agrees to halt all uranium enrichment, ship its current stockpile of enriched uranium out of the country and dismantle an underground enrichment facility near the city of Qom.

He demanded a "clear timeline" for implementation, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the meeting was closed.

Israel says a nuclear weapon in the hands of Iran would threaten the very existence of the Jewish state. It cites Iranian calls for Israel's destruction, Iran's support for anti-Israel militant groups and Iran's development of missiles capable of striking Israel.

Time running out

The official would not say whether Netanyahu presented any ultimatums to Ashton.

But Israeli officials have said time is running out for military action. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said Iran will soon enter an "immunity zone" in which military action will no longer be an option.

The United States has urged Israel to refrain from attacking, saying that international pressure must be given time to work.

A new set of tough economic is set to go into effect in the coming months, and officials fear an Israeli attack could set off a regional war.

The Israeli official said Netanyahu's new deputy prime minister, Shaul Mofaz, attended Wednesday's meeting.

Mofaz, the former opposition leader, has spoken out in the past against a unilateral Israeli strike, saying any action should be co-ordinated with the Americans.

But now that Mofaz, an ex-military chief and defence minister, is a member of Netanyahu's inner circle, he could give the military option an influential boost of support if he changes his mind.

  • Imtiaz - 2012-05-09 22:41

    Israel is giving Iran advice for peace negotiations to continue it must stop enriching uranium. Why dose it not take its own advice not to build settlements in palestinian land for peace to prevail.

      rudiwaan.joseph - 2012-05-09 23:48

      i tried twice to comment and both got blocked!!!!!!!!!

      rudiwaan.joseph - 2012-05-10 00:13

      have you noticed how quickly they moved this story to arxhieves? The only story with this little comments? My attempts got block and it wasnt radical at all!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-10 07:01

      Unfortunately that won't make any difference. The Palestinians are committed to the destruction of Israel. They don't recognize its right to exist. They attack Israel almost daily. They have to choose peace for peace to happen. Without making this choice, it will not happen, whatever Israel does.

      Yaseen - 2012-05-10 10:10

      Fred - What a load of nonsense!!!Typical apartheid response. Israel has continually annexed Palestinian land for decades. The Palestinian people are under constant accack from Israel. Palestine is the largest prison in the world !!!! You want the truth – go and research the heroic journalism of Gideon Levy (Israeli journalist) and George Galloway (British politician).

      Larry - 2012-05-10 12:17

      Yaseen, what crap. Typical terrorist response. Israel has repulsed the Arabs on five occasions when attacked. As a result of the 1967 war, territory was won and occupied by Israel for the purpose of leveraging peace with Arab countries and the West Bank and Gaza Palestinians. It worked with Egypt and Jordan, and failed with Gaza (utterly). The West Bank Palestinians may not and will not decide the terms of peace as they are a thoroughly conquered and humiliated people with no bargaining power. Israel will define the terms of peace, as is its right. These terms are: 1. East Jerusalem is annexed and now a part of Israel's sovereign territory. 2. The Palestinians MUST recognise and respect Israel and its right to exist. 3. There WILL be Jews living peacefully in a future Palestinian state, as there are non-Jewish Arabs living in Israel. 4. Any future Palestinian state will be de-militarised. That's all. Like it or don't like it. Stop squealing already, it is self-demeaning and adds to the on-going humiliation of Islam and the poor Palestinians.

      rudiwaan.joseph - 2012-05-10 17:03

      larry, if you are speaking for israel and its people then i am not suprised that the Palestine/Israel issue has not been resolved! You cannot force that kind of attitude on any people( any nation) and expect that they gonna say' yes sir- no sir' maybe if real options are put on the table the situation would have a different outcome! Shalom!

      Larry - 2012-05-10 17:37

      Shalom alechem to you Rudiwaan. Israel security and reality is quite where it wants it. The problem for Israel is resolved. It is the Palestinians who sit with the problem of their own making and their supposed suffering is self-induced. Only the Palestinians can improve their situation, and this can be achieved by accepting Israel's terms of peace. Very simple.

  • rudiwaan.joseph - 2012-05-10 00:36

    its amazing how my previous comment got blocked! Anyway every one knows who the real aggressors are! I mean if u have the same stuff how do you justify your protest for others not to have it? Is it spoilt brat mentality?

      Larry - 2012-05-10 12:39

      No Rudiwaan, it is the murderous mentality of Iran that is in question. All Western countries agree that Iran cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons as the country is controlled by mad mullahs instaed of a sober democratic government. If Iran does not cease and desist, it will be attacked and its nuclear capability will be destroyed. If Iran escalate this to full blown warfare then it will be the cause of many of its citizens being killed in the fight.

      rudiwaan.joseph - 2012-05-10 16:52

      Hi Larry, and what would you say about North Korea? And it seems like Israel is dishing out the murderous threats! I have not heard Iran saying anything other then their development is for peaceful use! And Ireal has a history of being a peace loving nation that has had no confrontation with any people?

      rudiwaan.joseph - 2012-05-10 17:21

      japan is today amongst the most peaceful of nations in the world ! Maybe they learnt a lesson from past wars fought. Technology and advance weapony today DID NOT MAKE THEM POWER HUNGRY!. However if Iran had attacked Israel without reason and Israel retaliated...different story! Not the case now is it?

      Larry - 2012-05-10 17:49

      North Korea is North Korea and Japan is Japan. You cannot compare them to each other or to Iran. Iran comes with a quasi-religious facist ideology only found in Islamic countries. The geo-political differences in the Middle East is vastly different to economically powerful Japan and economically beggared N Korea. Israel is the most peace loving nation in the world. Do you think they want enemies for neighbors? Israel has only ever reacted aggressively when attacked by her neighbors. Japan may have learned its lesson from past wars fought, but this just makes them a smarter people than the Arabs and Palestinians, who have not learned a single thing.

      rudiwaan.joseph - 2012-05-10 20:37

      larry its that kind of arrogance that is mistaken for Ghutspa that will seal the faith of israel! What goes for the goose goes for the gander. It a handfull of Israelies that mistakenly think and feel that they are more superior! who died and gave you more rights than any other person that walks on this earth! Shalom!

      Larry - 2012-05-10 20:59

      Shalom alechem Rudiwaan. The world is used to pushing around submissive Jews for the past 2000 years. That reality is now replaced with the new Jew. We are claiming the same rights as all other people. If you think that we think that this makes us special, and that you have the right to oppose this then you are sorely mistaken. We only wish for the right to have our own national homeland in the historical Jewish land of Israel. We claim this right as sacrosanct and we have helped ourselves. Too bad if you dont like it. The Arab world has been trying to seal the fate of Israel adversely for the last 64 years and Israel remains, stronger than ever. How will Israel's fate will be sealed? Will the Arab world mount another failed attempt at driving the Jews into the sea? Or will it be Iran, perhaps?

  • rudiwaan.joseph - 2012-05-10 05:06

    why put the story here for comments if you gonna sensor all comments 3 out of 5 attempts got blocked!! I guess this topic is now closed for further comments!

  • dave.kofang - 2012-05-10 06:13

    Why is israel so scared of Iran when they have an undeclared nuclear arsenal?The western is ignoring that fact.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-10 07:03

      Israel is not afraid of the Iranian regime. End of story.

      dave.kofang - 2012-05-10 13:48

      With their stockpile they can wipe Iran off the map.They have early-warning radars to detect ballistic missiles and more advanced weapons to counter Iranian attack.They are paranoid because they want to remain the only nuclear power in the middle east.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-12 21:51

      They want to remain the only nuclear power in the Middle East because the dominant regimes in the rehion want to destroy her. They've said as much again and again.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-12 21:53

      These regimes have also done as much, invading Israel twice, and incited and funded the almost daily attacks by the Palestinians. Not because they care about the Pakestinians. If they cared they would encourage peace, not almost daily attacks.

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