Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the imposition of harsh sanctions on Iran, in wake of evidence of a clandestine Iranian nuclear facility, the Israel Ha’aretz daily reported on Sunday.
“If not now, when?” the daily quoted Netanyahu as reportedly saying to US officials. “Action must be taken in all areas to increase pressure on Iran and impose crippling sanctions on it.” The existence of the second Iranian nuclear facility was revealed on Friday in an announcement by President Barack Obama, who joined with leaders from Britain and France to accuse Tehran of concealing the plant from UN inspectors, which is believed to be intended for enriching uranium.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Radio Saturday that there was “no doubt” the second reactor was for nuclear purposes.
“This removes the dispute whether Iran is developing military nuclear power or not and therefore the world powers need to draw conclusions,” he said.
Israel regards Iran as its biggest, possibly even existential threat, given Tehran’s assumed nuclear ambitions, and repeated statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Jewish state should be wiped off the map.
Mr. Lieberman told Israel Radio that conversations he had just held at the United Nations in New York revealed that other countries in the Muslim and Arab world are also extremely concerned about the Iranian nuclear programme.