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Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu: Ratchet Up the Sanctions Against Iran

Netanyahu meets Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister, says Iran "continuing to defy the international community."
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/28/2013, 5:14 AM

The international community must intensify the sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday.

Netanyahu, who met with Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, said that Iran “is continuing to defy the international community, doesn’t seem to seek an end to its military nuclear program. Like North Korea, it continues to defy all the international standards and I believe that this requires the international community to ratchet up its sanctions and make clear that if this continues there will be also a credible military sanction.”

“I think no other means will make Iran obey the wishes of the international community,” said Netanyahu.

Netanyahu’s remarks came hours after Britain's Daily Telegraph published satellite images which show that Iran's Arak heavy-water plan is operational, raising fears that it is trying to produce plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

The images appear to show steam rising from forced air coolers, suggesting heavy-water production at the plant, which has been closed to international inspectors for 18 months.

Heavy water is required in plutonium-producing reactors and that raises alarms that Tehran is seeking a second path to obtain the bomb.

A report released last week by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that Iran has begun installing next-generation equipment at one of its main nuclear plants in Natanz.

Iran has claimed that the report is proof that its nuclear program is intended only for peaceful purposes.

During his meeting with the Sri Lankan minister, Netanyahu also said the minister’s visit was “an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between Sri Lanka and Israel. I hope to discuss this with you today, along with other problems. We face great challenges of security and peace, with peace being peace with the Palestinians.”