Israel’s foreign minister said on Saturday the newly disclosed nuclear facility in Iran was proof the Islamic Republic was seeking nuclear weapons, and called on the world for an “unequivocal” response.
“I spoke this weekend with experts from the East and West. No one has any doubt, according to the technical data that was published, it’s a military core,” right-winger Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Radio.
“The disagreement (on whether Iran is developing military nuclear capability) has been done away with,” he said. Israeli leaders have repeatedly expressed alarm over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and refused to rule out pre-emptive military action to stop Iran developing an atomic weapon.
Tehran says its nuclear plans are peaceful and has resisted U.S.-led diplomatic pressure to curb its uranium enrichment, which can be used to generate electricity or make bombs.
U.S. President Barack Obama demanded on Friday that Iran come clean about its nuclear programme or risk “sanctions that bite”, after the disclosure that a new plant was under construction southwest of Tehran.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the facility was legal and open for inspection by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran is set to meet the United States and five other powers in October to discuss its nuclear programme.
Ahmadinejad has called more than once for Israel’s destruction.
Asked whether the strong words from Obama and other Western leaders came too late, Lieberman said: “No one wanted to admit the truth. Everyone tried, like always, to placate this mad regime.”
“I hope that after this latest revelation, at the discussion to open on October 1 … the message passed from the start will be unequivocal,” he said.
Israel, widely assumed to be the Middle East’s sole nuclear power, has described Iran’s uranium enrichment as a threat to its existence. It says “all options” are on the table in preventing Tehran from building nuclear missiles.