(September 11, 2022 / JNS) Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday headed to the United States for a series of meetings with United Nations officials. The talks are expected to focus on Iran’s nuclear program and the Abraham Accords, according to a statement from his office.
Gantz is scheduled to meet on Monday with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres and U.S. ambassador to the international body Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Gantz will also brief the ambassadors of U.N. Security Council members and countries that are signatories to the Abraham Accords, which two years ago normalized relations between Israel and numerous Arab states.
The trip comes on the heels of Gantz’s visit to the United States at the end of August, which took place against the backdrop of the ongoing efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran.
While briefing think-tank directors in Washington, Gantz said at the time that “Iran has gained knowledge, infrastructure and capabilities—much of which is irreversible. This will enable Iran to further expand its nuclear program during the period of an agreement that would have fewer restrictions. Iran would be able to acquire a nuclear weapon when said agreement ended in 2031.”
In recent years, Iran has produced thousands of advanced centrifuges, he noted. If, in accordance with the draft nuclear agreement, these centrifuges are stored and not destroyed, they will be immediately available to enrich uranium once the accord expires, or if Iran withdraws from it, he said.
Gantz noted in particular the new advanced centrifuge cascade at Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility, where he said Iran could rapidly enrich uranium to the 90 percent (military-grade) whenever it chooses.
He also emphasized that Israel would not be bound to any deal and that Jerusalem would “maintain its freedom of action as needed.”
On Saturday, Britain, France and Germany released a joint statement denouncing Iran for failing to negotiate in good faith a new deal to curb its nuclear program.
According to the statement, Iran’s nuclear program had continued to expand “far beyond any plausible civilian justification,” AFP reported.
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