Netanyahu: Iran Is Closer to a Nuclear Bomb Than People Think

Following publication of damning IAEA report, PM says document by UN's nuclear watchdog does not represent reality as it only includes 'provable' facts.

Iran is closer to assembling a nuclear bomb than "people think," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, following a the publication of a report by the United Nations' nuclear watchdog on Tehran's nuclear program.

Last week, the hotly anticipated document said Iran appeared to have worked on designing an atomic bomb and that secret research may continue. It was the most detailed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report to date on the issue.

Benjamin Netanyahu - AP - November 2011

Based on what the agency called "credible" information, the IAEA repot indicated that Iran had built a large explosives vessel there to conduct hydrodynamic experiments, which are "strong indicators of possible weapon development."

Israel has used the report to convince the international community to impose tougher sanctions on the Islamic Republic, a move opposed by countries such as China and Russia.

Commenting on the Iranian nuclear program on Sunday, Netanyahu said that "international [diplomatic] efforts did not prevent Iran from advancing toward a nuclear bomb, and it may get there sooner than people think."

"The IAEA report includes only the evidence provable at a court of law, but the reality is that there are many more things that we are seeing beyond what the report states," Netanyahu added.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Iran must respond soon to a report by the UN atomic agency alleging that it is working secretly on developing a nuclear weapon, saying that “Iran has a long history of deception and denial regarding its nuclear program and in the coming days we expect Iran to answer the serious questions raised by this report."

“The U.S. will continue to consult closely with our allies on the next steps we can take to increase pressure on Iran,” Clinton said.

קראו כתבה זו בעברית: רה"מ: איראן עלולה לפתח פצצה "מהר ממה שחושבים"