Canada, Israel Agree: No Nuclear Weapon for Iran
As Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's speech in the Knesset wrapped up Monday, it was clear that he and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed on a vital issue: that a nuclear Iran must be prevented, according to AFP.
"The interim agreement which went into force today does not prevent Iran from realizing its intention to develop nuclear weapons," Netanyahu told the Knesset Monday. "This objective is still before us."
Netanyahu compared Iran's bid for a nuclear weapon to a train which needed to pass three stops en route to building a military capacity: enriching uranium to 3.5 percent, enriching to 20 percent, and a "final stop" of enriching to 90 percent.
"The Geneva Agreement cancelled the 20 percent stop but left the train on the track... so that one day, Iran will be able to rush forward to the final stop, on an express track, without slowing down for the interim stops," he said. "In a permanent agreement, the international community must get the Iranian nuclear train of the track. Iran must never get the ability to build an atomic bomb."
Harper agreed, noting that Ottawa's sanctions on Iran would remain "fully in place" as an interim nuclear deal between world powers and Tehran took effect.
"We truly hope that it is possible to walk the Iranian government back from taking the irreversible step of manufacturing nuclear weapons," Harper stated to the Knesset. "But for now, Canada's own sanctions will remain fully in place.
"Should our hopes not be realized, should the present agreement prove ephemeral, Canada will be a strong voice in the world for renewed sanctions," he added.
The remarks by the leaders were made just hours after the UN's atomic watchdog confirmed that Tehran had halted production of 20 percent enriched uranium in line with an interim deal reached with world powers in Geneva in November.
In exchange for Iran's partial nuclear freeze, the European Union and the United States began suspending some of the sanctions which have been imposed on the Islamic Republic.
Israel, widely seen as the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, strongly opposed the Geneva agreement, warning against any international move to ease up on sanctions.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon hinted in a Politico article earlier this week that Israel would take all means necessary to prevent a nuclear Iran - including a possible strike.