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Israeli pres. gaffe in IAEA chief meeting

26 August 2010 18:59

In a gaffe during a meeting aimed at garneting international support for tougher action against Iran, Israeli President Shimon Peres has claimed that Tehran “threatens to use nuclear weapons.”

“Iran jeopardizes Israel and the rest of the world, as it threatens to use nuclear weapons,” Shimon Peres said on Wednesday in a meeting with Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano, Ha’aretz reported.

His comments come while the IAEA has confirmed that Tehran does not possess nuclear weapons and Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said, “Nuclear weapons have no place in our defense paradigm.”

Widely believed to be the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the region, for the past four decades, Israel has constantly refused to reject or confirm its status as a nuclear power under a US-backed policy of “nuclear ambiguity.”

In May 2009, Israel rejected a UN call to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which would require Tel Aviv to declare and relinquish its nuclear arsenal.

The White House, however, says that US President Barack Obama has vowed to shield Israel from being “singled out,” over its “nuclear ambiguity” stance.

Under the allegation that Iran is a threat to its existence, Israel has threatened to destroy the country’s nuclear facilities.

Iran, however, as a signatory to the NPT and a member of the IAEA has opened its nuclear facilities to intrusive inspections and round-the-clock supervision by the nuclear watchdog.

The IAEA has repeatedly reported that it has found no evidence of any diversion of nuclear materials from civilian to military applications in Iran.

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