Israeli intelligence minister: US-led coalition will fight Iran

Larry Hoffman
June 6, 2018

During a joint press conference following their talks, Macron reaffirmed his commitment to the nuclear deal but said that an additional agreement could be added to target Iran's ballistic programme.

In a speech on Monday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to preserve the Islamic country's nuclear program amid growing pressure from the US.

The European states have been trying to come up with a package to ring-fence trade with Iran against renewed US financial sanctions to dissuade Tehran from quitting the accord.

Iran was already seeing limited economic benefits from the deal even before the United States withdrawal, thanks to the reluctance of global banks to facilitate trade and a raft of non-nuclear USA sanctions that were not touched by the agreement.

According to Reuters, asking the EIB to invest in Iran had "symbolic value as European Union officials see it as one of the easiest to deliver on in response to Iran's demands that it show proof of its commitment to the nuclear deal".

Earlier on Tuesday, Iran's atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi emphasized that Tehran had developed infrastructure to produce electricity at the country's Natanz facility, saying that the Islamic Republic had notified the United Nations that it will install centrifuges for the uranium enrichment there.

However, as in the agency's last report on Iran in May, Amano said that "timely and proactive cooperation by Iran in providing such access would facilitate implementation... and enhance confidence".

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

Israel is considered the leading military power in the Middle East and believed to be the only country in the region to possess nuclear weapons.

The Israeli leader said Tuesday that the Iranian plan to increase its nuclear enrichment capacity was aimed at producing nuclear weapons to be used against Israel. Kamalvandi has said Iran is preparing to expand its uranium enrichment capacity.

Khamenei, who makes the final decisions on all major policies in Iran, on Monday warned that anyone who fires one missile at his country "will be hit by 10" in response, but dismissed fears of war as "propaganda" by the West.

"By preventing Iran's military entrenchment in Syria, we're also preventing something that could be very, very risky for Europe", he added. Although much remains unknown about the country's activities, they are advanced - unlike Iran it has built and tested nuclear weapons.

But the remaining backers of the accord have limited power to protect Iran's economic interests in the face of U.S. sanctions, with Trump showing little inclination to spare European Union companies.

Mr Trump cited evidence of a secret nuclear programme, announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as a justification for stepping away from the deal.

"If we were progressing normally, it would have taken six or seven years, but this will now be ready in the coming weeks and months", Salehi said.

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