Don’t ease sanctions on Iran, Israel’s Security Cabinet warns world powers

JERUSALEM (JTA)– Israel’s Security Cabinet called on the international community not to ease sanctions on Iran until it halts its military nuclear program, ahead of negotiations between Iran and the world powers.

“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,” a statement issued Tuesday by the Security Cabinet stated.

The statement, released a day after the Security Cabinet met to discuss the threat from Iran, called it “an historic mistake not to take full advantage of the sanctions, by making concessions before ensuring the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”

The P5+1 world powers, the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, were scheduled to open negotiations on Iran’s military nuclear program on Tuesday in Geneva.

“Israel calls upon the international community not to reach a partial agreement that would fail to bring about the full dismantling of the Iranian military nuclear program, and at the same time, could lead to the collapse of the sanctions regime,” read the statement.

“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.”

The statement said that Israel does not object to Iran having a “peaceful nuclear energy program.” It also said that Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei is “the true decision maker” and that he has not given any indication that he intends to stop trying to achieve a nuclear weapon.

The statement said that an appropriate diplomatic solution would involve Iran adhering to United Nations Security Council resolutions which require the Islamic Republic to: cease all nuclear enrichment; remove from the country its stockpiles of enriched uranium, dismantle its two underground nuclear facilities and the centrifuges in them, and stop work on the plutonium-producing heavy water reactor in Arak.