Netanyahu says Israel is Not Opposed to a Civilian Nuclear Program for Iran

Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi (R) seen with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a joint press conference at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy on August 29, 2015. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)
Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi (R) seen with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a joint press conference at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy on August 29, 2015. (Kobi Gideon / GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday said Israel does not object to allowing Iran to have a civilian nuclear program, only a military one.

In a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Netanyahu said last month’s nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers allows the Islamic Republic to retain infrastructure that would be unnecessary for a peaceful nuclear program.

The prime minister was apparently responding to comments Friday by US President Barack Obama, who suggested critics of the Iran deal were against the Islamic Republic having any sort of nuclear program, “even a peaceful one.”

“Let me make clear, Matteo, that Israel doesn’t oppose a civilian nuclear program in Iran. We oppose a military nuclear program in Iran,” Netanyahu said during an official visit to Italy. “And regrettably, the deal with Iran allows it to keep and expand a formidable nuclear infrastructure that is completely unnecessary for civilian nuclear purposes, but is entirely necessary for the production of nuclear weapons.”

Under the deal, as various sunset clauses take effect, “Iran within 13 years (will have) the ability to make as many centrifuges as they want, enrich as much uranium as they want to whatever level that they want,” Netanyahu charged.

“And this will put the Iranian Islamic state that practices terrorism worldwide, it will put it on the threshold of an entire nuclear arsenal,” he added.

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SOURCE: The Times of Israel / AP

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