by: Kate Norman
Thursday, 25 February 2021 | In response to Iran’s decision to block UN nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from inspecting the regime’s nuclear sites, Israeli leaders are condemning Tehran as a regional and global threat and calling for action.
The Islamic regime has been flouting its restrictions set under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ever since then-President Donald Trump exited the nuclear deal in 2018 and resumed crippling sanctions against Tehran. The most recent violation announced by the regime was its decision yesterday to bar the IAEA from inspecting nuclear sites.
Iran’s decision came the same day the IAEA released a report revealing that Tehran’s enriched uranium stockpile has now grown to 14 times the limit allowed under the nuclear deal.
“Iran is crushing the last vestiges of oversight by the International Atomic Energy Agency and continues to challenge and threaten regional stability,” Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi announced in a statement, adding that “Iran’s extreme steps necessitate an immediate international response.”
“Israel sees this step as a threat and it must not go by without response,” Ashkenazi continued. “We will never allow Iran to control the capability to acquire a nuclear weapon.”
And Israel is preparing to take any action necessary, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said at a military ceremony yesterday.
“The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] is currently working to build up our forces and is preparing itself for any scenario, including one in which we would need to take [operational] action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” Gantz warned.
It will take teamwork to thwart the regime’s nuclear ambitions, according to the defense minister.
“Iran is a global and regional problem before anything else, although, it certainly also threatens Israel,” Gantz said. “That’s why we need to work together with our allies; with the US, with Europe, and with our new partners in the Middle East.”
The 2015 nuclear deal was inaugurated while US President Joe Biden was serving as vice president under Obama, and Biden seems tentatively keen to reenter the agreement. His administration has said, however, that the US will not rejoin the JCPOA until Iran resumes adherence to its limitations—which Tehran has said it will not do until the US lifts its current sanctions. Catch-22.
Israel is anxious to prevent Washington from returning to the deal, and the two nations are reportedly meeting soon to conduct quiet talks on Iranian policy to avoid arguing in public.
Iran’s timing on the eve of Purim, the Feast of Esther, was not lost on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“On the eve of Purim, I would like to say to those who seek our lives, Iran and its proxies in the Middle East: 2,500 years ago, another Persian villain tried to destroy the Jewish people and just as he failed then, so too will you fail today.”
“We will not allow your extremist and aggressive regime to attain nuclear weapons. We have not made the journey of generations, of thousands of years, to return to the land of Israel in order to allow the delusional regime of the ayatollahs to end the story of the revival of the Jewish people.”
Israel is not “pinning [its] hopes on any agreement with an extremist regime,” Netanyahu concluded, ending with a vow to Tehran: “With or without any agreements—we will do everything so that you will not arm yourselves with nuclear weapons.”
Posted on February 25, 2021
Source: (Bridges for Peace, February 25, 2021)
Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com
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