JERUSALEM Oct 16 Israel on Wednesday urged
Western powers not to give up economic sanctions on Iran until
Tehran proves it is dismantling its nuclear program that the
United States and its allies believe is aimed at developing
The Israeli comments came after Western diplomats said Iran
hinted during two days of nuclear negotiations in Geneva that it
was ready to scale back sensitive atomic activities to secure
relief from the crippling sanctions.
"Iran should be tested by its actions, not its proposals," a
senior Israeli official said, speaking on condition of anonymity
in a message sent from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's
The Israeli official added, "Until substantive steps are
carried out that prove that Iran is dismantling its military
nuclear programme, the international community must continue
with its sanctions against it (Iran)."
The United States called the talks the most serious and
candid to date, though a senior U.S. official said there had
been no apparent narrowing of differences between Tehran and the
six nations in the negotiations over its nuclear programme.
Follow-up talks have been scheduled for Nov. 7-8.
Israel is widely believed to be the only nuclear power in
the Middle East.
The United States, Israel and other countries accuse Iran of
using its nuclear programme to try to develop the capability to
produce weapons. Iran says the programme is for peaceful energy
purposes only. Hassan Rouhani, Iran's new president, told the
U.N. General Assembly last month that nuclear weapons "have no
place in Iran's security and defence doctrine, and contradict
our fundamental religious and ethical convictions."
Israel insists Iran must be forced to give up its enrichment
of uranium, which the Jewish state sees as a risk that the
nuclear programme would be used for weapon development.
Netanyahu has said Israel would not accept Iran becoming a
nuclear power and has hinted that his country may resort to
military action - and act on its own - to prevent that from