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Photo: Defense Ministry
Benjamin Netanyahu at Nevatim Air Base
Photo: Defense Ministry
Netanyahu to Iran: Israel's warplanes can reach anywhere in Mideast, including you
PM issues warning during visit to IAF base; Europeans express 'deep concern' as Tehran moves further away from commitments under nuclear deal abandoned by U.S.; Macron dispatches top diplomatic adviser to Iranian capital in urgent bid to deescalate rising tensions
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday warned Iran that Israel's warplanes could reach any part of the Middle East, a day after Tehran announced it began enriching uranium beyond the limit set by a 2015 nuclear agreement.

 

 

"I am on an impressive tour of the air force base," Netanyahu said as he stood in front of an F-35 stealth fighter at Nevatim Air Force base in southern Israel. "I see all of our weapons systems and planes. Here behind me is the 'Adir', the F-35.

 

Benjamin Netanyahu inspects an F-35 jet at Nevatim Air Base (Photo: Defense Ministry)
Benjamin Netanyahu inspects an F-35 jet at Nevatim Air Base (Photo: Defense Ministry)

 

"Recently, Iran has been threatening the destruction of Israel. It would do well to remember that these planes can reach anywhere in the Middle East, including Iran and certainly Syria."

 

Netanyahu has been a vocal critic of the nuclear deal struck by world powers and Iran in 2015, and has called on Europe to impose fresh sanctions in response to Iran's breach of the agreement that the U.S. pulled out of last year.

 

The prime minister has repeatedly vowed that he will never allow Iran to develop the capability to make a nuclear bomb.

 

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier Tuesday lashed out on Twitter, accusing Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton of killing the agreement by insisting that Iran stop all uranium enrichment.  

 

 

 

Iranian officials on Sunday said the country would further scale back its commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, including ramping up the level of uranium enrichment beyond the 3.67% permitted under the agreement.

 

'Deep concern' 

Meanwhile, European parties to the nuclear deal said Tuesday they have "deep concern" that Iran has begun enriching uranium to the higher purity than allowed under the agreement, and were calling for an urgent meeting of all involved in the accord.

 

In a joint statement by Germany, Britain, France and the European Union, the group expressed "deep concern that Iran is not meeting several of its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," or JCPOA, as the 2015 nuclear deal is known.

 

Besides enriching uranium past the allowed 3.67% to 4.5%, the U.N. nuclear agency has also confirmed Iran has surpassed the stockpile limit on low-enriched uranium.

 

Then-French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in 2017 (Photo: AFP)
Then-French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in 2017 (Photo: AFP)

 

The Europeans say Iran has said it wants to remain in the JCPOA and "must act accordingly by reversing these activities and returning to full JCPOA compliance without delay."

 

They said a meeting of the JCPOA commission, which also included Russia and China, "should be convened urgently" but didn't specify when.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron's top diplomatic adviser is spending two days in Tehran as part of an urgent bid to deescalate rising tensions over the unraveling nuclear deal.

 

An Elysee Palace official said that adviser Emmanuel Bonne left for Tehran on Tuesday, seeking ways to restart dialogue. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter and asked for anonymity.

 

Macron and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani agreed in a weekend conversation to set a July 15 deadline to solve the current impasse, and ultimately save the accord.

 

Macron spoke with Trump on Monday -- the day Iran began enriching uranium beyond the accord's 3.67% limit, and after breaking the limit on stockpiles.

 

Reuters and Ynet contributed to this report

 


פרסום ראשון: 07.09.19, 18:01
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