Iran has been working for over 20 years to obtain nuclear weapons capabilities despite its declared commitment to pursue only civilian nuclear energy.
During this time, Iran has repeatedly deceived the international community about its nuclear program, including its efforts to conceal enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom. Iran has also systematically defied United Nations Security Council resolutions which call upon it to end its enrichment.
Brazenly violating these resolutions, Iran has increased the number of centrifuges from 164 in 2006 to over 18,000 today, and it has amassed during negotiations with the international community several tons of enriched uranium.
An Iran with military nuclear capabilities would threaten world peace and stability as well as the security of countries across the Middle East, including Israel, which it threatens to annihilate.
Iran continues to develop missiles of various ranges, including intercontinental ballistic missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads. These missiles pose a threat to the Middle East, Europe, the United States and other countries.
As a result of Iran’s actions, the UN Security Council has adopted a series of resolutions. The most recent one, UNSC Resolution 1929 from June 2010, determined that Iran must:
In the resolution, the Security Council determined that Iran had breached previous UNSC resolutions.
Over the years, the international community has imposed on Iran sanctions to compel it to end its military nuclear program.
However, Iran continues to blatantly violate Security Council resolutions and to advance its military nuclear program, even as it negotiates with the P5+1.
Today, another round of negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran will begin in Geneva.
These negotiations begin at a time when the Iranian regime is under great pressure because of the sanctions and is desperately trying to have them removed. Sanctions must not be eased when they are so close to achieving their intended purpose.
Now is an opportune moment to reach a genuine diplomatic solution that peacefully ends Iran's nuclear weapons program. However, this opportunity can be realized only if the international community continues to put pressure on Iran and does not ease the sanctions prematurely. It would be an historic mistake not to take full advantage of the sanctions, by making concessions before ensuring the dismantling of Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Israel will embrace a genuine diplomatic solution which would bring about the dismantling of Iran's nuclear weapons program. Such a solution would require Iran to comply with Security Council resolutions and other steps which call upon it to:
Unfortunately, we have seen no evidence that Iran is willing to accept such a solution.
On the contrary, Iran continues to enrich uranium without letting up. It insists that it has the "right to enrich." But as President Rouhani revealed in his 2011 book:
Rouhani's goal is clear.
Furthermore, the "Supreme Leader" Khamenei is the true decision maker regarding Iran's nuclear program. Khamenei has not given any indication whatsoever that he has changed his objective of attaining nuclear weapons.
Iran claims that it supposedly has the "right to enrich." But a country that regularly deceives the international community, that violates UN Security Council resolutions, that participates in the slaughter of civilians in Syria and that promotes terror worldwide, has no such right.
Israel does not oppose Iran having a peaceful nuclear energy program. But as has been demonstrated in many countries, from Canada to Indonesia, peaceful programs do not require uranium enrichment or plutonium production. Iran's nuclear weapons program does.
Iran believes it can get by with cosmetic concessions that would not significantly impede its path to developing nuclear weapons, concessions that could be reversed in weeks. In exchange, Iran demands an easing of the sanctions, which have taken years to put in place.
Sources: Prime Ministers Office