Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi called on the international community for an urgent response to the latest Iranian breaches of the 2015 nuclear deal.
“Iran is crushing the last vestiges of oversight by the International Atomic Energy Agency and continues to challenge and threaten regional stability,” Ashkenazi said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Iran’s extreme steps necessitate an immediate international response,” he said. “The Iranian policy is a statement of intentions as to its desire to continue to clandestinely develop nuclear capabilities.”
Iran on Tuesday began limiting the International Atomic Energy Agency’s access to nuclear sites and other information in response to Washington’s refusal to lift sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump after he pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers.
The Biden administration and European countries have been trying to salvage the nuclear deal. But the Washington is demanding that Iran return to compliance before any sanctions are lifted, while Tehran has conditioned its cooperation on eased sanctions.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also addressed the mounting crisis in a speech on Wednesday:
“We know that Iran is advancing rapidly in several areas in its nuclear program and accumulating many tools. It is enriching uranium and installing hundreds of advanced centrifuges in secret facilities, and sabotaging efforts by the IAEA to monitor it,” Gantz said.
“Much of Iran’s efforts are irreversible because it is gaining much knowledge and experience. The U.S., Europe and Middle Eastern countries are well aware of Iran’s steps, which could lead to a wider arms race,” Gantz said.
“Iran is a problem for the region and the whole world, but it is also a great threat to the State of Israel. We must therefore work in coordination with world powers to ensure that if an agreement is signed with Iran, it will halt its nuclear program and bring a stop to its activities in Syria,” Gantz said. “The IDF is constantly preparing for the possibility that it will need to activate operational plans.”