Netanyahu: Iran Wants Centrifuges to Produce a Bomb

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets Italian Prime Minister, urges continued pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.

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Elad Benari,

Netanyahu and Letta
Netanyahu and Letta
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met his Italian counterpart Enrico Letta in Rome on Tuesday.

During the meeting, Netanyahu urged to continue the pressure on Iran in order to get it to abandon its nuclear program.

“Iran says it wants a deal in which it will have civilian nuclear energy, but this is not the real issue,” Netanyahu told Letta, adding, “Many nations in Europe, North America, and Asia have nuclear energy without centrifuges or plutonium.”

The only reason that Iran wants to have centrifuges and plutonium, he said, “is to enable it to produce enough materials for a nuclear bomb. This is why the UN Security Council has reached many resolutions, including one in 2010 that called for Iran to destroy the centrifuges and cease the production of plutonium.”

Netanyahu added, “If Iran retains these capabilities, it will be able to progress quickly towards the production of a bomb. They can move quickly from a low level of 3.5% enrichment straight to a level of 90% without the intermediate level of 20%. We cannot allow them to do this.”

Netanyahu warned that Israel’s efforts toward achieving peace “can be severely harmed if Iran succeeds in it goals.”

“It will be tragic if Iran succeeds in avoiding the sanctions. We must ensure that there Iran will not have nuclear weapons capabilities and we can achieve this peacefully,” he said.

Last week, Iranian negotiators met in Geneva with representatives of six world powers. During the talks, Iran presented a new proposal to the West aimed at ending the nuclear standoff.

Western negotiators have described the latest round of talks with Iran as the most detailed and serious to date. Iran’s proposal was described by the White House as "useful". White House spokesman Jay Carney said it showed a "level of seriousness and substance that we have not seen before."

A senior western diplomat, however, has cautioned that any breakthrough in diplomacy over Iran's nuclear program was “not close".