Israel accuses Iran of deception to buy time for atom work

VIENNA Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:29pm EDT

A general view of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, some 1,200 km (746 miles) south of Tehran October 26, 2010. REUTERS/IRNA/Mohammad Babaie

A general view of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, some 1,200 km (746 miles) south of Tehran October 26, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/IRNA/Mohammad Babaie

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VIENNA (Reuters) - Israel accused Iran on Wednesday of using "deception and concealment" to buy time for its nuclear program, signaling skepticism about the new Iranian president's move away from the hardline stance of his predecessor.

Israel, believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear-armed power, also said an Arab push to single it out for criticism at a U.N. nuclear agency meeting this week would deal a "serious blow" to any attempt to hold regional security talks.

The election of a relative moderate, Hassan Rouhani, as Iranian president has raised hopes of progress in long-stalled efforts to find a solution to the decade-old dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

An Iranian official said he saw an "opening" in Iran's nuclear row with the West, in the latest signal that Tehran expects fresh movement to break the deadlock.

But the head of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission said: "The picture that the Iranian representatives are portraying regarding openness and transparency of their nuclear program ... stands in sharp contradiction with Iran's actual actions and the facts on the ground."

The issue was not whether Iran has "modified its diplomatic vocabulary ... but whether it is addressing seriously and in a timely manner outstanding issues that have remained unresolved for too long," Shaul Chorev told the annual meeting of member states of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The United States and Israel accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons capability and maintain a threat of possible military action if diplomacy fails.

Iran says its program is entirely peaceful and says it is Israel's assumed atomic weaponry that threatens peace.

The IAEA's latest report on Iran said it had further expanded its uranium enrichment capacity by installing many more centrifuges. Uranium can have both civilian and military uses.

Chorev accused Iran of "deception and concealment, creating a false impression about the status of its engagement with the agency ... with a view to buy more time in Iran's daily inching forward in every aspect of its nuclear military program".

Chorev accused Arab states of using the IAEA meeting to "repeatedly bash" Israel and he urged members to reject an Arab-sponsored draft resolution calling on Israel to join a global anti-nuclear weapons pact.

Frustrated over the postponement of an international conference on ridding the region of atomic arms, Arab states have proposed a non-binding resolution expressing concern about "Israeli nuclear capabilities".

U.S. and Israeli officials have said a nuclear arms-free zone in the Middle East could not be a reality until there was broad Arab-Israeli peace and Iran scaled back its nuclear work.

(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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Comments (16)
AH! the the Israeli two cents on all this, I was wondering when that was coming.
The world is getting weary with Israel and all those fancy phrases “we neither confirm nor deny” and “crossing the red line”, please do a world a favor and just shut the hell up! And let peace prevail.

Sep 18, 2013 12:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Speaker2 wrote:
How about both Israel and Iran give up their nuclear programs and weapons.

Sep 18, 2013 2:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bbsnews wrote:
Israel should be bashed for the rogue state that it is. What a supreme irony that Israel feels it has the right to criticize Iran for imaginary nukes when it is Israel who is in clear violation and the United States as well for continuing to supply the little rogue state with arms contrary to the law.

A Chapter Seven resolution should be adopted to force Israel back behind its internationally recognized borders and Israel should be hauled in front of the ICC for all of its various war crimes and other violations of international law and norms.

Israel is the problem, not Iran. As many times as Iran has been threatened by Israel, its no wonder that the state feels it needs to have its security needs taken seriously or just like Israel, Iran will defend itself and Israel will cease to exist as the rogue warrior occupation Apartheid nation it has become.

Theodor Hertzl would be ashamed…

Sep 18, 2013 3:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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