Israel Slams Western Powers for Bowing Down to Iran on Nuclear Program

While UN nuclear chief visits Tehran, Netanyahu says Western powers cannot show weakness or give in to Iran on its nuclear program.

Two days before the second round of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers in Baghdad, senior Israeli officials criticized the diplomats in charge of negotiations with the Islamic Republic. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the upcoming talks, saying that "the Western powers must not reveal any weakness while dealing with Iran, and must not cave in on any aspect of its nuclear program.

 The west is bowing down to Iran, and at the same time the chief of staff of Iranian military chief is revealing Irans true intentions, as he calls for the destruction of Israel, said one official, on condition of anonymity.

The officials comment referenced the speech made by the top ranking officer in the Iranian military, which received coverage from one of Irans news agencies. During the speech, the Iranian military chief of staff called for the destruction of the state of Israel.

Earlier on Monday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak commented on the upcoming talks in Baghdad, and stated that the Iranians will attempt to display a false front of progress, meant to relieve some of the pressure on the world powers – before asking the west not to level any more sanctions.

Israel believes that a standard must be set, which will not allow Iran to make any progress. Unfortunately, despite the worldwide declarations, it is unclear to us that the world is willing to bring Iran to a crossroads, at which it will have to decide to continue its nuclear program or not, said Barak.

Also on Monday, United Nations nuclear chief, Yukiya Amano, said talks with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator were extensive and would have a positive impact on Iran's negotiations with world powers later this week, Iranian media reported on Monday.

"We held expanded and intensive negotiations in a good atmosphere. Definitely, the progress of talks will have a positive impact on negotiations between Iran and P5+1," Amano was quoted by Iran's state television website as saying.

Asked about a framework agreement that would resolve questions over Iran's nuclear program quickly, Amano added: "I will not go into details but the agency has some viewpoints and Iran has its own specific viewpoints."

Amano Iran - May 21, 2012