On Sunday, Israel’s prime minister warned the world that Iran’s nuclear program is “advancing unhindered” and that his nation remains resolute in its willingness to stop it.
The remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett came less than a week after a report by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimated that Iran’s nuclear program had grown rapidly in recent months and that the agency’s ability to monitor the program had been “seriously undermined” due to the Iranian government’s refusal to cooperate with the 2015 nuclear deal.
Last week’s report and another one by the IAEA “have given an official stamp to what we have been saying for a long time: The Iranians are advancing unhindered with their nuclear program,” Bennett said Sunday.
“They are ignoring the IAEA guidelines. They are simply disrespecting it and are trying to disguise the fact that their program was, and remains, a nuclear weapons program,” said Bennett, who took office in June. “… The Iranian nuclear program is at the most advanced point ever. This is the legacy that this government has received, but now it is our watch. We are committed, and we will deal with this program.”
Iran pulled out of the nuclear deal in 2020. Although President Trump withdrew U.S. support for it, other countries want Iran back in the deal. President Biden supports the deal.
“The Iranians understand that they are facing world powers that are very interested in returning to the nuclear deal at almost any cost – and I remind you, we do not believe in this agreement,” Bennett said. “It does not provide the necessary benefit; however, the Iranians are dragging things out and making progress in the meantime.”
Bennett said he was calling on “world powers not to be misled by the Iranian smokescreen that will lead to further concessions.”
“There can be no giving in on the investigation of the sites, and the most important message is that time must be allotted for this,” he said. “They are delaying, but a distinct and clear deadline must be set that says ‘no more.'”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Victority
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.