Iranian nuclear concerns: Israel warns Tehran is “10 weeks” away from acquiring military-grade materials

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Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz reportedly warned UN Security Council diplomats this week that Iran is “only about 10 weeks away from acquiring the military-grade materials needed for a weapon. nuclear “.

Gantz made the comment during a presentation seeking the Council to sanction Iran for a series of recent sea attacks, including one last week on the tanker Mercer Street which left two dead, according to the Jerusalem Post. The tanker, struck off Oman in the Arabian Sea, is run by a company owned by an Israeli billionaire. Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom accused Iran of carrying out the attack.

“Iran has violated all guidelines set in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and is only about 10 weeks away from acquiring the military-grade materials needed for a nuclear weapon,” Gantz said on Wednesday. the Jerusalem Post.

President Hassan Rouhani, second from right, listens to Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi during a visit to an exhibition on Iran's new nuclear achievements in Tehran, Iran , in April (Office of the Iranian Presidency / AP)
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President Hassan Rouhani, second from right, listens to Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi during a visit to an exhibition on Iran’s new nuclear achievements in Tehran, Iran , in April (Office of the Iranian Presidency / AP)

THE UNITED STATES, THE UNITED KINGDOM AND ISRAL BLAIM IRAN FOR THE ATTACK ON AN ISRAEL-MANAGED TANK

“Therefore, it is time to act,” he added. “The world must apply economic sanctions and take operational measures against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. ”

The newspaper also says that in recent weeks senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, have warned that Iran is pushing forward its nuclear program when halting return-to-military negotiations. agreement of the 2015 common global action plan.

Iran has said the talks – which have been on hiatus since June – will not resume until President-elect Ebrahim Raisi forms a new government later in August, the Jerusalem Post reports.

In 2015, Iran signed an agreement with the United States, Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain that sought to set limits on Tehran’s nuclear program in order to prevent it from build a nuclear weapon – which he insists he doesn’t want to do.

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In exchange, Iran was relieved of the sanctions imposed by these powers, in particular on its oil exports and its access to the world banking system. Iran was allowed to continue its nuclear program for civilian purposes, with strict limits on how much uranium it could enrich, the purity to which it could enrich it, and other measures.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, left, gives his official seal of approval to newly elected President Ebrahim Raisi during an approval ceremony in Tehran, Iran on Tuesday.  A portrait of the late founder of the revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, hangs in the background.  (Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran / AP)

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, left, gives his official seal of approval to newly elected President Ebrahim Raisi during an approval ceremony in Tehran, Iran on Tuesday. A portrait of the late founder of the revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, hangs in the background. (Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran / AP)

But in 2018 then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the deal, criticizing clauses that ease restrictions on Iran in stages, as well as the deal’s ending. by expiring and that Iran would be allowed to do whatever it wanted with its nuclear technology. He also said it had to be renegotiated to deal with Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional influence such as support for militant groups.

Separately, Gantz told the Ynet news site on Thursday that Israel was prepared to strike Iran following the deadly drone strike on the Mercer Street tanker.

“We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran,” Gantz said. “The world must take action against Iran now.”

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Iran did not immediately respond to Gantz’s comments.

However, in a letter to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, its charge d’affaires in New York accused Israel of being “the main source of instability and insecurity in the Middle East and beyond since. over seven decades, ”the Associated Press reports.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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