Israel's Netanyahu accuses Iran of secret nuclear weapons programme during Hook meeting

Israel's Netanyahu accuses Iran of secret nuclear weapons programme during Hook meeting
Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of building a bomb.
3 min read
30 June, 2020
Netanyahu has accused Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons [Getty]
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday accused Iran of attempting to build a nuclear bomb and applauded the US' policy of "maximum pressure" on Tehran.

Netanyahu, who met with US Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, on Tuesday, accused the world of being "deceived" by Tehran on assurances that its nuclear programme is peaceful.

"I believe it's time to implement snapback sanctions," Netanyahu said in a press conference.

"I don't think we can afford to wait. We should not wait for Iran to start its breakout to a nuclear weapon, because then it will be too late for sanctions."

Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of working towards a building a nuclear bomb, despite Tehran insisting that its programme is peaceful.

A nuclear deal struck between world powers and Iran - to give Tehran limited civilian nuclear power options - was firmly opposed by Israel.

US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018 and the introduction of tough new sanctions on Iran has been warmly welcomed by Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister has called on world powers to end their efforts to revive the nuclear deal and instead take a tougher line against Iran.

Most world powers believe that monitoring and restricting
Iran's nuclear programme is best achieved through cooperation rather than confrontation.

"Iran wants to be treated like a normal country. It should behave like a normal country [and not] deliberately deceive the international community," Netanyahu said according to The Jerusalem Post.

"It lies all the time… it continues its secret programme to develop nuclear weapons… Iran denies access to the IAEA inspectors to important sites, some of which we have uncovered through our own activities."

Netanyahu also warned Iran against its regional interventions and told Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad to cut ties with Tehran to avoid further Israeli attacks on Iranian bases in the country.

"I say to the ayatollahs in Tehran, Israel will continue to take the actions necessary to prevent you from creating another terror and military front against Israel in Syria, and I say to Bashar Assad, you're risking the future of your country and your regime," he said.

Hook said that the US and Israel see "eye to eye" on the issue of Iran and urged the UN to continue its weapons embargo on Tehran.

"In four short months, Iran will be able to freely import fighter jets, attack helicopters, warships, submarines, large-caliber artillery systems and missiles of certain ranges," Hook said.

"Iran will then be in a position to export these weapons and their technologies to their proxies, such as Hezbollah, Palestine Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Shia militia groups in Iraq, Syria militant networks in Bahrain and to the Houthis in Yemen."

Israel is on the verge of announcing the annexation of large parts of the West Bank, something that has been widely condemned by the international community.

US tensions with Israel remain high, with Iran issuing a symbolic arrest warrant for Trump after the killing of Iranian foreign militia commander Qassem Soleimani in January.

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes on Iranian militia, Hezbollah, and Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Corps (IRGC) positions in Syria.

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