Israel says Iran’s activation of nuke plant, an international failure

February 26th, 2009 - 3:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Jerusalem, Feb.26 (ANI): Iran’s decision to activate the Bushehr nuclear reactor highlights the international community’s failure to stop that country from obtaining a nuclear weapon, the Jerusalem Post quoted senior Israeli defense officials, as saying on Wednesday.

“If they were not stopped until now, it is very possible that Iran will succeed in becoming a nuclear country,” one senior defense official told The Jerusalem Post.

“Israel, though, is not the only country that needs to be concerned. Iran is also a threat to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and other countries in the Gulf,” the official added.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday that the test run at Bushehr and Iran’s claims that it had increased the number of centrifuges enriching uranium to 6,000 constituted an existential threat to Israel.

“Israel’s policy is clear: We are not ruling out any option regarding the Iranian nuclear [program] and we recommend that others don’t rule out any option either,” Barak said in an address at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, in a hint to US President Barack Obama’s administration.

“A dialogue with Iran should be defined and limited in time.”

“Time is running out. Clear and decisive sanctions against the Iranian regime, alongside readiness to consider necessary actions in case the sanctions don’t work, are necessary,” Barak said.

He added that Russia has had a crucial role in pressuring Iran, and that sanctions without Russia’s participation would be meaningless.

The power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr, built with Russian help, is meant to be the first in a number of reactors for an energy program.

It’s unclear when the reactor could be switched on.

It was not known how long after the tests the reactor could start up.

The plant, which will run on enriched uranium imported from Russia, has worried the West because the spent fuel could be turned into plutonium, a potential material for nuclear warheads.

US concerns over the reactor softened after Iran agreed to return spent fuel to Russia to ensure Teheran does not reprocess it into plutonium.

Iran says it intends to use the enriched uranium fuel in its first domestically-built nuclear power plant in Darkhovin, which it wants to start operating in 2016. (ANI)

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