Israel wary of expected IAEA - Iran deal (REUTERS) By Maayan Lubell JERSALEM, ISRAEL 05/22/12 6:53am EDT)
Reuters News Service
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(Reuters) - Israel eyed with suspicion on Tuesday an expected deal
between the U.N. nuclear watchdog and Iran on investigating Tehran´s
nuclear activity, citing an Iranian track record of evading and
limiting international inspections.
"Iran has proven over the years its lack of credibility, its
dishonesty -- telling the truth is not its strong side -- and
therefore we have to be suspicious of them all the time, and examine
the agreement that is being formulated," Civil Defense Minister Matan
Vilnai said on Israel Radio.
His comments were echoed by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, who
said: "At this point, in light of past experience, we are suspicious."
The two cabinet members spoke after Yukiya Amano, head of the
International Atomic Energy Agency said he expected to sign an
agreement with Iran soon on easing an IAEA investigation into
suspected work on designing nuclear weapons.
Asked whether military action against Iran, long hinted by Israel,
was still a possibility with apparent progress being made on the
diplomatic track, Vilnai said: "One shouldn´t get confused for even a
moment -- everything is on the table."
Iran and six world powers are to hold broader negotiations on
Wednesday in Baghdad on curbing what the West and Israel suspect is
its drive to develop the means to make atom bombs.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that "the leading
nations of the world must show force and clarity, and not weakness"
in their dealings with Iran.
Netanyahu has demanded that Iran stop all uranium enrichment, remove
enriched material and dismantle its underground, bunkered nuclear
facility near the city of Qom.
Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defense official, predicted that Iran
would take a conciliatory tack at the Baghdad talks while not
abandoning its goal of becoming a nuclear power.
"They will be willing to show what appears to be flexibility as long
as it doesn´t affect their strategic direction, meaning that they
will be able to develop nuclear weapons if that decision is made,"
Gilad told Army Radio.
"Today they have enough uranium, raw material, for the bomb, they
have the missiles that can carry them and they have the knowledge to
assemble a warhead on a missile," he said.
"They have not yet decided to do this because they are worried about
Israel, widely assumed to have the Middle East´s only atomic arsenal,
feels menaced by the prospect of its arch-foe Iran going nuclear and
has hinted it could launch pre-emptive war. Iran says it is enriching
uranium only for civilian energy. (Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing
by Mark Heinrich) (© Thomson Reuters 2012. 05/22/12)
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