Netanyahu: Iranian Nuclear Program Unaffected by World Pressure

PM: Latest UN atomic agency report proves that economic and diplomatic sanctions 'unable to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear weapons program.'

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says a new report by the United Nations' atomic agency shows that international pressure is having no effect on halting Iran's suspect nuclear program.

In a confidential report, the International Atomic Energy Agency said this week that Iran has upgraded its uranium enrichment facilities and advanced in building a plutonium-producing reactor. Israel and the West believe both programs are geared toward making nuclear weapons.

The report by the IAEA indicated that Iran was pressing ahead with the construction of a research reactor that Western experts say could offer it a second way of producing material for a nuclear bomb, if it decided to embark on such a course.

Netanyahu said Thursday that "it's clear" that economic and diplomatic pressure have been "unable to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear weapons program." Israel has repeatedly signaled it will attack Iran's nuclear facilities if diplomacy fails to curb the Iranian program.

Netanyahu spoke at a meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who voiced "strong concerns" about the Iranian nuclear program.

Earlier this week, diplomats said Tehran now has installed close to 700 high-tech centrifuges in an upgrade of its uranium enrichment program since the start of the year. That represents an increase of about 100 since mid-April, when diplomats first told The Associated Press that Iran was rapidly installing the equipment.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at Iran's nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz.Credit: AP

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