Iran could build a nuclear weapon in as little as six weeks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned in a speech on Tuesday night.
“Although there are internal disagreements in Iran, there is no dispute in the regime about developing nuclear weapons and the goal of wiping Israel off the map,” he told the crowd at a conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.
“The interim agreement in Geneva left Iran, according to our assessment, six weeks from a nuclear weapon, and therefore by our estimation, the test will be the permanent agreement, if such an agreement can be reached,” he said.
Iran reached the deal in November with the international community on its disputed nuclear drive, which the West suspects has a military goal, notwithstanding Tehran’s protestations to the contrary.
The six-month deal freezes key aspects of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for some economic sanctions relief. It went into effect on January 20.
The next round of international nuclear negotiations with Iran is expected to be held in New York next month, according to officials involved in the planning.
“The whole world knows that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “We will only support an arrangement that ensures the complete dismantling of Iran’s infrastructure and capabilities to build nuclear weapons. We will not let Iran develop the capability to build nuclear weapons. This was and remains Israel’s stance.”
Israel has threatened to attack Iran should it not back off from its alleged pursuit of a military nuclear capability.
Earlier Tuesday, UN nuclear inspectors arrived in Tehran to visit Iran’s Gachin uranium mine for the first time in several years, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said. The visit was part of the framework of a separate deal between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency in November.