Danon: Iran is still striving for nuclear weapons

Israel's UN ambassador warns world not to be blinded by IAEA's positive report on Iran.

Ben Ariel ,

Ambassador Danny Danon
Ambassador Danny Danon

The international community must not be blinded by the optimism expressed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with regards to Iran, Israel’s UN ambassador Danny Danon warned Saturday night.

Danon’s warning came hours after the UN’s atomic agency said that Iran has fulfilled its initial obligations under the terms of the nuclear deal reached with world powers last July, paving the way for the first stage of sanctions relief.

“Iran is continuing to strive for nuclear weapons and the optimism of the IAEA report must not blind the international community,” Danon said in a statement.

“The removal of the sanctions facilitates the terrorism that Tehran sponsors around the world, and Israel will continue to monitor closely all the activities of Iran, in terms of the nuclear threat and the terror threat,” he continued.

Earlier on Saturday, Minister Gilad Erdan warned that the expected implementation of a landmark nuclear deal between world powers and Iran would endanger the Middle East and fail to curb Tehran's atomic program.

"The 'implementation day' of the nuclear agreement ushers us into a new and dangerous era, in which Iran is freed from most of its economic sanctions, without having to quit its nuclear program or provide explanations for its military activities," he said.

Erdan added that Iran continued to "supply arms to terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas" while interfering in the internal affairs of Gulf States and violating a UN Security Council prohibition on "developing ballistic missiles".

"This is a difficult day for all the states in the region that hoped Iran wouldn't be able to obtain nuclear arms and would cease to meddle in the region," added Erdan.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also warned on Saturday night against the implementation of the nuclear deal, saying Iran is still seeking to achieve nuclear military capabilities.

"Even after signing the nuclear deal, Iran has not relinquished its ambition to obtain nuclear weapons, and continues to act to destabilize the Middle East and spread terror throughout the world while violating its international commitments," a statement from Netanyahu's office read.

He stressed that Israel would "follow the implementation of the deal and warn of any violation."