Netanyahu: Israel will continue to monitor Iranian nuclear activity

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel will continue to monitor Iranian nuclear activity and warn about any violations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Were it not for Israel’s efforts to lead sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, the Islamic Republic would have had nuclear weapons long ago, Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

His comments came a day after the removal of sanctions from Iran, after the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, on confirmed that Iran has complied with the nuclear rollback component of the Iran nuclear deal signed with the world powers including the United States, which triggers immediate sanctions relief.

On Saturday, President Obama and the European Union immediately ordered the suspension of a range of sanctions that had been imposed on Iran because of its suspected nuclear weapons program.

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“Israel’s policy is exactly as it has been – not to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. What is clear is that Iran will now have more resources to divert to terrorism and its aggression in the region and around the world, and Israel is prepared to deal with any threat,” Netanyahu said.

He added that discussions between Israel and the American administration are “currently being completed on a document of understandings for the coming decade regarding security assistance to the State of Israel. This is an important part of permanent policy between us and the United States, our ally, and it is important in order to repel threats in the region, especially the Iranian threat.”

Israel had fought aggressively against the nuclear deal, arguing that it would not prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb.

Also on Sunday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that everyone was happy about the official implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, “except Zionists, warmongers, sowers of discord among Islamic nations and extremists in the US. The rest are happy.”

Rouhani made his comments to the Iranian parliament in an address broadcast live to the nation on state television, according to reports.

“The friends of Iran are happy and its competitors need not worry. We are not a threat to any government or nation,” Rouhani reportedly said. “We are a messenger of peace, stability and security in the region and the world.”

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