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Olmert - Stepping up the rhetoric
Photo: AFP
Photo: Reuters
ElBaradei - 'His policies endanger world peace;
Photo: Reuters
Olmert: ElBaradei 'no fan of Israel'
Israel intensifies its criticism of IAEA, prime minister says its chief does not harbor positive feelings towards Israel. 'His lethargic and irresponsible conduct should have led to his dismissal,' says cabinet minister

Following Iran's announcement that one of their uranium enrichment facilities now boasts 3,000 working centrifuges, Israel has stepped up its rhetoric

 against the International Atomic Energy Agency and its chief.

 

In closed talks this week Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that while he would not label IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei an enemy of Israel, he is "certainly not a fan either."

 

Olmert went on to say that it is abundantly clear to all that ElBaradei is not going out of his way to address Israel's concerns.

 

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, who previously served as IDF chief of staff and minister of defense and who is currently charged with leading strategic coordination efforts with the United States, said on Thursday morning that "ElBaradei's policy is one that endangers world peace."

 

Mofaz accused the IAEA chief of burying his head in the sand and ignoring sound intelligence information regarding Iran's advancing nuclear program. "His lethargic and irresponsible conduct should have, in my opinion, led to his dismissal," said Mofaz.

 

Meanwhile all eyes are looking towards the November 22nd deadline for ElBaradei's next progress report on Iran's nuclear program. Israeli officials are concerned that the report will be sugar-coated by ElBaradei despite hard evidence provided by IAEA monitors regarding Iran's efforts to manufacture a nuclear weapon.

 

State officials warned that another report presenting worrying findings in a positive light would only serve to strengthen Russia and China's opposition to tightening UN sanctions against Iran.

 

At present time however the Israeli government is still pursuing a diplomatic solution to the crisis with Iran, this despite public and political pressure to consider a military strike against Iran's nuclear reactors.

 

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