Netanyahu ‘Unimpressed’ by IAEA Iran Report

November 14, 2013  

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday he was unimpressed by a report from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency on Thursday that Iran had frozen its nuclear activities.

“I am not impressed by the report published this evening,” Netanyahu was quoted by his office as saying.

“Iran does not need to expand its programme because it already possesses the necessary infrastructure for building a nuclear weapon.”

The IAEA said that, in the past three months, only four new centrifuges had been installed at Iran’s Natanz plant, compared with 1,861 in the previous three-month period.

At the Fordo facility, which also enriches uranium – which can be used for a nuclear weapon if highly purified – no new centrifuges were put into operation, the report seen by AFP showed.

The report added that Iran has also not begun operating any new-generation IR-2M centrifuges and that “no… major components” had been installed at a reactor being built at Arak.

The faster IR-2M centrifuges are of concern to world powers because they shorten the time Iran would need to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear bomb.

And the so-called IR-40 reactor at Arak is a worry because it could provide Iran with plutonium, an alternative to uranium for a nuclear weapon.

The IAEA report was released ahead of a new round of talks between Iran and world powers in Geneva next week after three days of grueling talks last week ended with no agreement.

The international community wants Iran to freeze the most sensitive parts of its nuclear program – not just to stop expanding it.

This includes the enrichment of uranium to fissile purities of 20 percent, close to weapons-grade, and a halt to construction at Arak.

In return Iran wants UN and Western sanctions that have been hammering the Islamic republic’s economy to be eased soon, and its “right” to enrich uranium recognized.

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