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Israel renews concern over Iran nuclear talks

Israeli PM says Tehran still seeks to acquire a nuclear arms capability.

Last updated: 24 Feb 2014 04:39
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Western nations and Israel suspect Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons capabilities [Getty]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed concern at the progress of talks between world powers and Iran, saying that Tehran still sought to acquire a nuclear arms capability.

"Iran, in fact, is getting everything and giving virtually nothing," Netanyahu told the cabinet on Sunday on the eve of a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and said he would discuss the issue with her.

This is the current situation. The permanent agreement cannot render this situation permanent. It must dismantle the Iranian ability to either produce or launch nuclear weapons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ,

"I view with concern the fact that Iran believes that it will realise its plan to become a threshold nuclear state with an enrichment capacity that it thinks cannot be touched, with the ability to develop both nuclear weapons and inter-continental missiles, which it is continuing to work on unhindered," Netanyahu further added in remarks relayed by his office.

"This is the current situation. The permanent agreement cannot render this situation permanent. It must dismantle the Iranian ability to either produce or launch nuclear weapons," he added.

Iran and world powers will hold technical talks next week in Vienna, ahead of a political meeting to negotiate a comprehensive nuclear deal, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi said on Sunday.

Germany, along with the US, China, Russia, Britain and France, form the P5 + 1 group seeking to forge a lasting nuclear accord to resolve a decade-old stand-off over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

They agreed last week on a timetable and framework for the negotiations for an accord that would allay Western concerns about Iran's nuclear programme in return for the lifting of crippling sanctions.

'Restoration of trust'

Meanwhile, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, who is in Iran on an official two-day visit, expressed the hope that the talks could lead to a restoration of trust between Tehran and the West.

"I hope relationships that are based on trust will be revived with the nuclear negotiations and when a clear, final agreement is reached," he said at a news conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Western nations and Israel have long suspected Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons capability alongside its civilian programme, charges denied by Tehran.

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Source:
AFP
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