Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his pledge to “never let Iran develop nuclear weapons,” after the Islamic Republic announced the commencement of its so-called “fourth step” in scaling back its commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement.
Speaking at a Jewish National Fund Gala in Jerusalem, Netanyahu underscored Israel’s resolve to “fight back” against Tehran’s efforts to “expand its aggression everywhere,” including persistent activities to “envelope Israel” with a declared-aspiration of ultimately destroying it.
The Israeli leader insisted that Jerusalem’s unwavering vow to stop Tehran’s quest for atomic bombs “is not only for our security and our future; it is for the future of the Middle East and the world.”
Netanyahu’s remarks came just hours after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared the start of gas injections into 1,044 centrifuges at the Islamic Republic’s underground Fordow nuclear reactor located in the Qom province.
It is important to mentioned that the Iranian head of state, who effectively serves at the pleasure of the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, relayed a message to the European signatories of the 2015 nuclear accord – France, Britain and Germany – in which he emphasized ”Whenever they return to their entire commitments, we will return to our entire commitments.”
President Rouhani refers to Europe’s inability to establish a solid trade mechanism with Iran to bypass the crippling international sanctions imposed by the United States against the Tehran’s economy. He then declared that “Therefore, this step is also undoable, like previous steps that are undoable too.”
Tehran’s latest nuclear-related move has infuriated Berlin, Paris and London; which released separate statements warning the Islamic Republic against going down a path that “is putting the entire nuclear accord at risk.”
In tandem, a U.S. official accused the Islamic Republic of seeking to extort the international community with ‘nuclear blackmail.’ In a conversation with TV7, the source noted that “Tehran hopes to force the world to accept its aggressive behavior by sheer extortion. The United States under President Donald Trump, however, will not succumb to blackmail by any terror entity, including the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has urged Iran to fulfill its commitments under the nuclear deal, saying that the Kremlin “will continue to demand that all parties will remain committed to their pledges regarding JCPOA, including ourselves.”
Speaking from Moscow this morning, Minister Lavrov then acknowledged that Russia does “understand why Iran scaled back from its commitments.”