JERUSELUM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today warned Iran that Israel would not allow it to acquire nuclear weapons even as he accused Tehran of destabilizing the region and spreading terrorism globally.
Earlier, Netanyahu’s office had said that Iran will continue to destabilize the Middle East and spread terrorism throughout the world.
The historic nuclear accord between Iran and six major powers, struck in July last year, entered into force yesterday as the UN confirmed that Tehran has shrunk its atomic program.
Unless there is an appropriate response to each Iranian violation of its deal with the six world powers “Iran will surmise that it can continue to develop nukes, destabilize the region and spread terror,” the prime minister’s office warned.
Erdan alleged that Iran continues supplying arms to Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist groups, intervening in Gulf States’ internal affairs and violating UN Security Council decisions about developing ballistic missiles.
Israel will continue following and demand from the international community not to ignore Iranian violations, in order to ensure that they won’t be surprised like in the case of North Korea.
The warning from Israel, the Middle East’s sole but undeclared nuclear power, came as world powers, including the US, lifted sanctions on Iran under a historic nuclear deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Iran emerged from years of economic isolation on Saturday when world powers lifted crippling sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for Tehran complying with a deal to curb its nuclear ambitions.
Together, the lifting of sanctions and the prisoner deal considerably reduces the hostility between Tehran and Washington that has shaped the Middle East since Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979.
Tens of billions of dollars worth of Iranian assets will now be unfrozen and global companies that have been barred from doing business there will be able to exploit a market hungry for everything from automobiles to airplane parts.
The allies had been looking to agree on a 10-year aid package to extend the current US grants to Israel worth $3 billion annually, which are due to expire in 2017.
But Netanyahu froze negotiations ahead of the July deal reached between Iran and world powers, which Israel deems insufficiently stringent.
A Wall Street Journal survey found that 48 per cent of registered voters disapproved the move to invite the Israeli prime minister without notifying President Barack Obama first. Thirty per cent said the invitation was okay, and another 22pc said they didn’t know enough to judge.
Senior administration officials have indicated that Mr Obama had no plans to invite Mr Netanyahu to the White House and the two leaders were unlikely to meet during the week.