Israel worried by failure to stop Iran nukes

Thursday, May 24, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israel on Wednesday reacted with concern to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report that indicated Iran could no longer be prevented from obtaining the technology necessary to built nuclear weapons.

"Continued progress in Iran's enrichment activities...is a source of concern even though it is insufficient to indicate that Iran has already achieved an industrial-level enrichment capability," read a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem.

However, Israel blasted the notion that the international community must simply accept the new reality and now work to cap Iran's uranium enrichment capability.

Speaking to the New York Times earlier this week, IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei said that the watchdog group believes the Iranians "pretty much have the knowledge about how to enrich. From now on, it is simply a question of perfecting that knowledge. People will not like to hear it, but that's a fact."

The IAEA report harshly criticized Iran for its continued defiance of the international community by installing and activating more than 1,500 centrifuges used to enrich uranium at its nuclear facility in Natanz. The organization also noted a significant decrease in Iran's willingness to cooperate with nuclear inspectors.

Israeli leaders have long argued for imposing crushing general economic sanctions on Iran, backed by a very real threat of military action. But the U.N. Security Council has done little more than slap Iran on the wrist with its limited arms embargoes.

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