Steinitz: IAEA report is far from comforting

Minister Yuval Steinitz says IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear activities shows Iran is a threat that cannot be trusted.

Ben Ariel ,

Yuval Steinitz
Yuval Steinitz
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The UN atomic agency’s report on Iran’s nuclear activities is “far from comforting” to Israel, Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Wednesday.

The report, by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), concluded that Iran made a "coordinated" effort to develop nuclear weapons in the past, although the efforts apparently ended at an early stage.

According to the report, most of the dedicated work took place before 2003, though some parts continued until 2009.

The report repudiates the long-held Iranian claim that they have never desired nuclear weapons. In particular, it charges that the disputed Parchin military site was, in fact, a facility used for nuclear weapons research.

Steinitz said the report raises "serious suspicions that Iran continues its efforts to hide and disrupt" the IAEA’s investigation into its nuclear program.

"Although the IAEA report states that Iran halted its bomb development mechanism already in 2009, it is far from comforting. This is because the document highlights recent Iranian efforts to hide its military nuclear activities, and accuses it of trying to disrupt the investigation,” he continued.

“The report should not to be used as an all-clear siren, but to remind us that Iran is a nuclear threat,” concluded Steinitz.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also responded to the IAEA report on Wednesday, saying it shows the investigation of Iran’s activities should be intensified.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency investigation proves beyond any doubt that Iran was operating a secret project to develop a nuclear weapon after 2003, as Israel has said," a statement from Netanyahu's office said, shortly after the report was made public.

"Israel expects the international community to deepen its investigation by way of the IAEA and use all the means at its disposal to ensure that Iran is unable to secretly build a nuclear weapon," it added.

"Without such an investigation the world will not know how far along the secret Iranian program progressed and what its current status is."

The UN watchdog also recently released a report which determined that Iran had violated the terms of its nuclear deal with the West by increasing its stockpile of low-enriched uranium in the past three months by 460.2 kilograms.

Last month it was also revealed that Iran had stopped dismantling its centrifuges at the Natanz and Fordow uranium enrichment plants, breaching the nuclear deal that calls for the dismantling.