"Israel will work together with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to expose the Iranian military's plan to develop a nuclear weapon, despite the limitations placed on it by Iran," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Sunday in his first official response to the US intelligence report released last week on Iran's nuclear weapons project. The report determined that Iran had halted its development efforts in 2003.
Olmert said that Israeli intelligence officials had not been convinced that Israel's position on the Iranian program should change. "Iran is continuing to pursue the two vital components needed for a nuclear weapons program – developing and advancing their rocket arsenal and enriching uranium," said the prime minister.
"We will continue to cooperate with the United States and other nations on the diplomatic track as well as the intelligence one – and we will do this to strengthen our position that we must not let up on closely monitoring Iran's actions."
Olmert said that the international pressure being applied against Tehran is working and should not only be maintained but increased. Israel, he said, supports tightening economic sanctions against Iran until it complies with the demands set by the UN Security Council and suspends its uranium enrichment
operations. Should Iran remain defiant, said Olmert, Israel would support its complete isolation.
"The responsibility to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weaponry lies on the shoulders of the international community, led by the United States. The State of Israel, whose existence Iran has repeatedly threatened, cannot give up on this international effort," he said.
"According to the (NIE) report, there was a nuclear weapons programme until 2003, but there is no explanation where it disappeared," Olmert said, according to an official who was at the cabinet meeting.
Olmert said Israel would continue seeking further sanctions against Iran, which he said would have enriched enough uranium to create a nuclear weapon by 2010.