Seeking French support, Netanyahu raises alarm over Iran enrichment plan

06 June, 2018, 01:56 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is interviewed by The Associated Press in New York

Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has set out a series of conditions on for European powers if they want Tehran to stay in the nuclear deal, including steps to safeguard trade with Tehran and guarantee Iranian oil sales.

"What Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency about its capacities was nearly comical compared to what we have here", a senior Israeli intelligence officer involved in the analysis of the secret cache told The Times.

Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier tweeted that Tehran is beginning to make the preparations to increase uranium enrichment capacity within the framework of the JCPOA.

Netanyahu has been a staunch opponent of the Iranian nuclear deal and has repeatedly called for it to be scrapped and for a return of sanctions.

Meanwhile, Iran is vowing to increase their uranium production if European countries also pull out of the nuclear agreement.

However, as in the agency's last report on Iran in May, Amano said that "timely and proactive cooperation by Iran in providing such access would facilitate implementation... and enhance confidence".

European signatories of the accord back the deal but have concerns over Iran's ballistic missile programme and its influence in the Middle East. Iran says the two issues are non-negotiable.

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Israel's intelligence minister called for a military coalition against Iran if the Islamic Republic were to defy world powers by enriching military-grade uranium.

The Israeli minister's comments come as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has embarked on a tour of Europe to persuade European leaders to follow the U.S. and ditch the Iran deal. Although much remains unknown about the country's activities, they are advanced - unlike Iran it has built and tested nuclear weapons.

Israel took aim at Iran on Monday with a popular "Mean Girls" meme.

Like Trump, Netanyahu has been a fierce critic of the deal, saying the agreement left Iran with the potential to quickly develop a nuclear weapon when the terms expire.

He arrived in Paris for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron as part of a tour to persuade the European signatories - Britain, France and Germany - to follow Washington's lead in scrapping the accord that they signed with Tehran in 2015.

The remaining backers and parties to the agreement, however, have limited influence on Washington, whose wrath they also face after Mr Trump warned that the U.S. would impose sanctions on companies that continue to do business with Iran.

The two leaders also discussed the Israelo-palestinian conflict with Macron once again condemning Donald Trump's decision to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem and the deaths of at least 58 Palestinians in mid-May.

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