After Iran Nuke Deal Breach, Netanyahu Calls on World Powers to Impose 'Snapback Sanctions'

PM says that enriching uranium to such levels as Tehran announced on Sunday has only one purpose — to create atomic bombs

Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, June 30, 2019
\ POOL New/ REUTERS

>> Iran set to breach enriched uranium level allowed by nuke deal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called on world powers to impose "snapback sanctions" on Iran after it crossed the uranium threshold laid out in the faltering 2015 nuclear deal.

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Netanyahu said Sunday that enriching uranium to such levels has only one purpose — to create atomic bombs.

He says Western leaders had vowed to impose sanction the moment the Islamic Republic crossed that threshold.

"This is a very, very dangerous step," Netanyahu said in public remarks to his cabinet. 

"Iran has violated its solemn promise under the UN Security Council not to enrich uranium beyond a certain level," he said. 

"I call on my friends, the heads of France, Britain and Germany - you signed this deal and you said that as soon as they take this step, severe sanctions will be imposed - that was the Security Council resolution. Where are you?" Netanyahu said. 

The Israeli leader has been one of the harshest critics of the nuclear deal. Israel considers Iran to be its most dangerous enemy because of its nuclear program and threats to destroy Israel.

Iran made its move amid heightened tensions and a year after U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal.

Iran's deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, meanwhile said that his nation considers the 2015 deal to be a "valid document" and seeks its continuation. The deputy foreign minister said Iran is open to negotiations with Europe, and that the United States could join such talks.

However, Araghcci said Tehran will take another step impacting its compliance with the deal in 60 days. He told a news conference Sunday that he cannot elaborate now on the nature of the next step.

Sunday's decision came less than a week after Iran acknowledged breaking the deal's 300-kilogram (661-pound) limit on its low-enriched uranium stockpile. Experts warn higher enrichment and a growing stockpile narrow the one-year window Iran would need to have enough material for an atomic bomb, something Iran denies it wants but the deal prevented.