Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Israel proposes 'military coalition' against Iran

Israel proposes 'military coalition' against Iran

Iran announced Tuesday that it has taken steps to increase its capacity for uranium enrichment in a warning of the potential consequences of the US withdrawal last month from the nuclear deal.

Netanyahu, who has railed against the deal which offers sanctions relief in exchange for strict limits on Iran's nuclear activities, will hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin in the late afternoon, followed by a joint news conference.

A spokesman for Iran's atomic energy agency said preparations would be made to increase the pace of uranium enrichment even further if the JCPOA collapses.

The other signatories to the accord - Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany - said they remain committed to the deal.

Israel trolled Iran on Monday with a gif from the film "Mean Girls" after Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for their complete annihilation.

At the time intelligence experts and diplomats said he did not present a "smoking gun" showing that Iran had violated the agreement, although he may have helped make a case for on behalf of the United States.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran were reignited after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the controversial Iran nuke deal, which he claimed would not stop the country from developing deadly warheads.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later threatened Iran with the "strongest sanctions in history" if it did not comply with a list of steep demands, including ending uranium enrichment.

After eight years with Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu found the United States president he wanted in Donald Trump.

European signatories of the accord back the deal but have concerns about Iran's ballistic missile programme and its influence in the Middle East. Iran says the two issues are non-negotiable.

The Israeli minister's comments come as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has embarked on a tour of Europe to persuade European leaders to follow the USA and ditch the Iran deal.

Supporters also fear the reimposition of U.S. sanctions could hit European firms that have done business with Iran since the accord was signed.

Netanyahu said he had not asked France to leave the deal because he believed the JCPOA would not survive after America's pullout.

Iran, which won sanctions relief in exchange for limiting its nuclear program, has said repeatedly its nuclear activity was exclusively peaceful in nature.

U. S. President Donald Trump denounced the 2015 accord, reached under predecessor Barack Obama, as it did not cover Iran´s ballistic missile programme, its role in Middle East wars or what happens after the deal begins to expire in 2025.

On Sunday, Supreme Leader of Iran Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei tweeted a statement about Israel referring to them as a "malignant cancerous tumor", in what appeared to be an old quote from Iran's top leader.

A European source told AFP that the Iranian enrichment announcement is being interpreted as a bid to step up the pressure on Brussels to deliver on these promises.

Like this: