State official: Act against Tehran before it's too late
Ynet learns Israel intends to demand UN Security Council assemble to debate third round of sanctions against Islamic Republic after release of IAEA report. ''We hope IAEA is aware of the price the entire world may end up paying for its lenient approach towards Iran,' says top Jerusalem official
Israel will seek to call a session of the United Nations Security Council to demand the tightening of sanctions against Iran – Ynet learned on Thursday. The request to convene the council will be made after
the release of an additional report on Tehran's nuclear program authored by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Dr. Mohammad ElBaradei.
A senior State official told Ynet that the report is expected to see light this coming weekend or early next week.
"We hope the IAEA is aware of the price the entire world may end up paying for its lenient approach towards Iran," said the official.
"Israel believes that there is an urgent need for a third round of sanctions against Iran, and it has directed its actions in accordance with this belief for the past several months. The UN Security Council must be convened as soon as possible so that such sanctions will be authorized."
The official said that recent statements made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and General Mohammad Ali Jaafari, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, "are testament to the nature of the dangerous, irresponsible and racist regime currently ruling Tehran. Iran poses a danger not only to Israel but to the entire world. We must act before it is too late; before Iran's motivations are caught up by its abilities."
Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni's office is preparing for the release of the IAEA report under an atmosphere of tense anticipation. The Foreign Ministry estimates that, as has been the case with previous reports, the agency will go easy on Iran. Alongside ongoing diplomatic efforts to promote its position, Israel is also maintaining continuous contact with the six nations that will eventually vote on the implementation of new sanctions against Iran (Germany and the five permanent members of Security Council – the US, Russia, China, France and the UK). Russia and China are reluctant to authorize further sanctions.
Olmert to brief Tokyo on situationMeanwhile Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to leave for Japan on Sunday, where he will update top officials, as well as Emperor Akihito, on the Iranian threat. According to intelligence information gathered by Israel, Iran is pursuing military nuclear capabilities, despite the Islamic Republic's claim that it is seeking nuclear power for civilian purposes only.
Olmert is expected to tell the Japanese that Iran is developing missiles capable of reaching every country in the world and is also working to enrich uranium.
The Israeli leader will tell Japanese officials that Israel remains in favor of exhausting the diplomatic efforts aimed at thwarting Iran's nuclear aspirations, despite having said recently that the Jewish state retained the right to respond with whatever means necessary to protect its citizens.
"We are working with other countries to encourage a comprehensive effort on the part of the international community aimed at blocking Iran's attempt to obtain nuclear capabilities," Olmert told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin about two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, diplomats said that for the second time in recent weeks, Washington has given the International Atomic Energy Agency information on what it says were Tehran's attempts to make nuclear weapons, but added that much of it is of doubtful value.
The diplomats also told The Associated Press that after handing over a large file last Friday, the US agreed to allow the Iranians to look at some of the material so they could respond to the allegations but Tehran has shown no interest in examining the information.
Associated Press contributed to the report