Israel will not allow nuclear-armed Iran: Netanyahu
JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Wednesday not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear arms after the Islamic republic said it would abandon limits on its nuclear activities agreed in a 2015 deal.
“This morning on my way here I heard that Iran intends to continue its nuclear programme,” Netanyahu said at a ceremony on Israel’s annual day of remembrance for its fallen soldiers and civilian victims of militant attacks. “We shall not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon,” he said in Hebrew.
Netanyahu has been an outspoken opponent of Iran’s landmark nuclear deal with major powers and was the leading supporter of US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from it and reimpose crippling economic sanctions last year.
Israel is considered the leading military power in the Middle East and is widely believed to possess its sole, if undeclared, nuclear arsenal.
On Wednesday, Tehran said it was ending curbs on its uranium enrichment stockpile agreed under the 2015 deal until other powers help it bypass the renewed US sanctions.
Iran does not recognise its archfoe Israel and opposition to the Jewish state has been a central tenet of official policy since the Islamic revolution.
Iran has supported Palestinian and other anti-Israel groups, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Israel has said publicly that it has carried out hundreds of air and missile strikes targeting the forces of Iran and Hezbollah in neighbouring Syria.