Iran wants its frozen assets back, but Israeli Prime Minister is telling the world to question why Tehran needs a heavy water reactor or enrichment by centrifuge if its nuclear enrichment program is truly peaceful.
Why does Iran want such power when they have "gas and oil coming out of their ears" asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, according to the JerusalemPost story on the interview from Meet the Press. The Israeli leader also stated:
"I think the pressure has to be maintained on Iran, even increased on Iran."
Recent diplomatic efforts between Iran and the US, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany-- "could be" a sign of progress, said Netanyahu, although he is skeptical of Iran's new leadership, and the new president, Hassan Rouhani.
"It depends how these conversations end up," Netanyahu said.
Iran's outgoing nuclear weapons chief was quoted as boasting about the 18,000 nuclear enrichment centrifuges just this summer, according to MSNnews.
Add to this the fact that the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, is described as "a former nuclear negotiator who oversaw a previous deal to suspend Iran's uranium enrichment" in the MSN article, and perhaps the Israeli leader is just being wisely cautious.
Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani is said to be the outgoing head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), and the story points out that besides saying that his nation has installed 18,000 uranium-enrichment centrifuges, 10,000 of which are currently operating, Abbasi-Davani also said there were 1,000 new, more advanced centrifuges ready to start operations.
Making an analogy to David Gregory of 'Meet the Press,' according to NBC, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated:
“Suppose Syria said, ‘Well, you know, we're going to dismantle 20 percent of it….’”
Other nations probably would not ease sanctions because of that 20% reduction in chemical weapons capability, he stated, adding:
“That's exactly what Iran is trying to do. They're trying to give a partial deal that they know could end up dissolving the sanctions regime and would keep them with the nuclear weapons capabilities.”
Three reasons for frozen Iranian assets
Netanyahu told NBC’s David Gregory this weekend that the Iranian assets were frozen for three reasons:
“One, Iran's terrorist actions; two, its aggressive actions particularly in the (Persian) Gulf; and three, its continued refusal to stop the production of weapons of mass destruction. You know, if you get all three done and they stop doing it, well then, I suppose you could unfreeze them."
Two media reports of remarks by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif highlight the concerns of the Israeli leader.
In a story at Aljazeera it was stated ahead of scheduled Geneva talks that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said Iran was trying to buy time and trick the world into dropping tough sanctions without making any significant concessions. They quoted the Israeli leader:
"Iran is willing to give a little and get a lot, if not everything. It would be a historic mistake to lift the pressure now, just before the sanctions reach their goal."
A report from the StarsandStripes a few days ago regarding the remarks by Iran's foreign minister on Friday, accusing Israel of trying to undermine what was described as progress in Tehran's nuclear talks with world powers is relevant. The top Iranian representative, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, posted on his Facebook page that "there is a high possibility the talks would be disturbed through various efforts" on the part of Israel, and he stated these possible efforts reflected Israel's "frustration and warmongering."
The Stars article also mentioned that Israel considers "... a nuclear-armed Iran a threat to its existence because of Tehran's controversial nuclear program, repeated calls for Israel's destruction and ties to the Palestinian militant Hamas group and the Lebanese Hezbollah."
In attached video from the Wall Street Journal, the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu states he does not believe Iran's contention that it isn't seeking nuclear weapons in an address to the U.N. General Assembly.
Listing reasons why he thinks Iran is lying about its pursuit of the bomb, Netanyahu tells the assembly he wants no confusion on this matter:
"Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If it is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone. Yet in standing alone, Israel will know that we will be defending many, many others."
In discussing Iran recently, according to the Examiner, President Barack Obama hopes to solve things diplomatically. However, he also said:
"But as President of the United States, I've said before and I will repeat that we take no options off the table, including military options, in terms of making sure that we do not have nuclear weapons in Iran that would destabilize the region and potentially threaten the United States of America."