Bennett: Israel expects UN to send clear warning to Iran over nuclear advances

Israeli leader calls on IAEA’s board of governors to warn Iran it will “pay a heavy price” if it doesn’t curb nuclear policy. 

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday he expects the UN nuclear watchdog’s board of governors, which is currently convening in Vienna, to issue a clear warning to Iran over advances in its nuclear program.

“We expect the [International Atomic Energy Agency ‘s] board of governors to put a clear warning light in front of the regime in Tehran and make it clear that if it continues in its defiant nuclear policy, it will pay a heavy price,” Bennett said in televised remarks at a parliamentary committee meeting.

Bennett last week met International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi ahead of the board’s meeting and told him Israel would preserve its “freedom to act against Iran’s nuclear program as long as necessary,” the Israeli premier told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.

“With a [nuclear] agreement, without an agreement, it makes no difference – nothing is tying our hands,” he added.

The United States, France, Britain and Germany are calling for the 35-member board to censure Iran for “systematic insufficient cooperation,” especially its failure to disclose information relating to undeclared uranium traces found at three sites.

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A day earlier, Grossi called on Tehran to “urgently” resume work with his agency’s investigators.

“These issues will not go away,” Grossi said at a press briefing. “The problem here is that Iran has to continue working with us. They have a very ambitious nuclear program. It’s in their own interest to clear this.”

Last week, the IAEA published a report that found that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium had surged to more than 18 times the limit in the 2015 nuclear deal.