Iran Strongly Rejects Netanyahu’s Allegations
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran on Monday strongly dismissed allegations raised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the country’s involvement in the explosion of an Israel-owned ship in the Sea of Oman and Tehran’s attempts to acquire nuclear weapons, calling them as symptoms of his morbid obsessive-compulsive disorder.
“The occupying regime is the root cause of all insecurities and instabilities, and these projections are fully goal-oriented. The Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman are our immediate area of security and we will not allow them to intimidate others by these statements. The Prime Minister of the Zionist regime is suffering from a mental illness. This regime knows that in our security sphere, our response has been precise and strong,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters in a press conference in Tehran on Monday.
“These allegations are being made by the Quds occupying regime, and we not only strongly reject them, but we have also been monitoring all the actions made by the regime in security zone of Iran in the past few months, and we will give a response where it happens,” he added.
Khatibzadeh also strongly dismissed Netanyahu’s allegations that Iran seeks to acquire nuclear weapons, and said, “This morbid obsessive-compulsive disorder of the Israeli Prime Minister towards Iran is nothing new. All this indicates a strange turmoil in the occupied territories and is the result of the adventurous behavior in and outside the occupied territories.”
“The Zionist regime is the root cause of many troubles, insecurities and problems in the West Asian region, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is closely monitoring developments, and these blame-games are only meant to benefit the corrupt Zionist prime minister,” he added.
“Nuclear weapons have never had a place in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s doctrine for various reasons, and unfortunately, it is the West and the US which have turned a blind eye to the stockpiled weapons and nuclear bombs of the Zionist regime,” Khatibzadeh said.
His comments came as new satellite photos showed a clearer view of a secretive nuclear arms factory of the Israeli regime, which is the only possessor of atomic bombs in the Middle East, revealing that the site is undergoing what appears to be the biggest construction project in decades.
According to the AP, a dig about the size of a soccer field now sits only meters from the aging reactor at the Shimon Peres Negev nuclear factory, whose purpose is believed to be the production of nuclear materials for Israel’s nuclear bomb program. The nuclear facility is located near the city of Dimona.
What Tel Aviv "is doing at this secret nuclear weapons plant is something for the Israeli regime to come clean about”, the AP quoted Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, as saying.
Kimball indicated that Israel may want to produce more tritium, a relatively faster-decaying radioactive byproduct used to boost the explosive yield of some nuclear warheads.
It also could want fresh plutonium “to replace or extend the life of warheads already in the Israeli nuclear arsenal”, he added.
Last week, the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM), a group of independent nuclear experts from 17 countries, noted it had seen “significant new construction” at the nuclear site through satellite photos.
The construction had “expanded and appears to be actively underway with multiple construction vehicles present”, the IPFM reported, adding, however, that the purpose of the construction was not known.
New satellite images attained by the AP through Planet Labs Inc. provide a clearer view of the site, which shows that in the Southwest of the reactor, workers have dug a hole about 150 meters long and 60 meters wide. Some 2 kilometers West of the reactor, boxes are stacked in two rectangular holes that appear to have concrete bases.
Under its policy of nuclear ambiguity, the Israeli regime neither confirms nor denies having nuclear weapons. However, the regime is widely believed to be one of only nine nuclear-armed countries in the world.
Israel is among the four regimes that have never joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which aims to stop the spread of nuclear arms.
At the same time, Tel Aviv has repeatedly called for international action against Iran’s nuclear program, which has been consistently verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to be of peaceful nature, unlike that of Israel which is not under the IAEA’s inspection.
Jeffrey Lewis, a professor teaching nonproliferation issues at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, hinted that Israel could be trying to divert attention from its nuclear activity at Dimona by raising the alarm over Iran’s nuclear program.
“If you’re Israel and you are going to have to undertake a major construction project at Dimona that will draw attention, that’s probably the time that you would scream the most about the Iranians,” Lewis said.