Iran might have enough enriched uranium to build nuclear weapon by next summer, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared at the UN General Assembly. He urged the gathering to draw a “red line” for the Iranian nuclear program.
It is getting “late, very late” to stop the Islamic Republic from having the capability to develop an atomic bomb, Netanyahu stressed to the assembly in New York.
“Iran is 70 per cent of the way there, and are well into the second stage. By next summer, at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. From there it is only a few more weeks before they have enriched enough for a bomb,” he said.
Pointedly nodding at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s reports, the Israeli PM said the only way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear arsenal is to forbid it from amassing highly enriched uranium. A country like Iran needs thousands of centrifuges to produce the substance, and such facilities cannot be hidden, Netanyahu said.
While talking, Netanyahu took out a basic diagram depicting a bomb split into three sections, with markings indicating 70 per cent and 90 per cent progress.
Then the PM took out a marker and drew his own red line on the chart highlighting the point of no return – the completion of the second stage and 90 percent enrichment.
“I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down – and it will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy,” he concluded, adding that Israel is already in talks with the US on how to chart a path to preventing the Persian country from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, pauses after drawing a red line on a graphic of a bomb while discussing Iran during an address to the United Nations General Assembly.
Netanyahu has been campaigning for a “clear red line” to curb Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions since the beginning of September. The hard pressure apparently cost him a meeting with US President Barack Obama. The American leader refused to sit down to talks with Netanyahu on the outlines of the 67th UN General Assembly after the Israeli PM lashed out at Washington’s unwillingness “to set deadlines” for Iran.
The address to global leaders may well be a final warning before Israel takes matters into its own hands. The country’s leadership has been relentlessly issuing warnings that it may soon stage a unilateral attack on Iran, flouting even American wishes.
Israel considers Iran an “existential” peril, given the rhetoric coming from the Islamic Republic’s leaders that Israel will be eliminited.
Nevertheless, Iran insists that its nuclear program seeks to meet energy supplies and medical needs.
The US, while trying to keep Israel away from attacking Iran, believes that Tehran is yet to make a final decision on whether to use its uranium stocks to build weapons. So far, in Washington’s opinion, the Islamic Republic does not appear to possess the necessary infrascture to do so.