Iranian nuclear move meant to fend off action: Israel (REUTERS) Writing by Maayan Lubell; editing by Crispian Balmer JERSALEM, ISRAEL 02/16/12 2:34am EST)
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(Reuters) - Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Thursday
Iran´s announcement of new nuclear achievements was exaggerated and
meant to fend off action against the Islamic republic.
"They are describing a situation that is better and more advanced
than the one they are in, in order to create a feeling among all the
players that the point of no return is already behind them, which is
not true," Barak told Israel Radio.
Iran on Wednesday proclaimed advances in nuclear know-how, including
new centrifuges able to enrich uranium much faster, a move that may
heighten its confrontation with the West over suspicions it is
seeking the means to make atomic bombs.
Barak said those announcements were meant to create an impression
that any action taken by world powers to curb Iran´s nuclear program
would be too late. Iran says it is enriching uranium for peaceful
Tension between Iran and the West over Iran´s nuclear work has
mounted since November, when the United Nations´ International Atomic
Energy Agency said Tehran appeared to have worked on designing a
Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East´s only atomic power,
has said a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence.
Both Washington and Israel have not ruled out military action to stop
Teheran developing atomic bombs.
"They are definitely making progress, but in order to deter anyone
dealing with them, or perhaps even to make this seem superfluous,
they are priding themselves on achievements that do not yet exist,"
The United States, which called Wednesday´s Iranian announcement of
nuclear progress "not terribly new and not terribly impressive," and
the European Union have imposed tighter sanctions in recent weeks on
both Iran´s oil exports and international financial transactions with
Israel has called for tougher sanctions. (© Thomson Reuters 2012.
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