Israel’s Netanyahu slams IAEA for calling attacks on nuclear sites ‘outlawed’


An Iranian long-range Ghadr missile displaying
MORTEZA SALEHI / TASNIM NEWS / AFPAn Iranian long-range Ghadr missile displaying “Down with Israel” in Hebrew at a defense exhibition in the city of Isfahan, Iran.

‘Are we forbidden to defend ourselves? Of course we are allowed, and of course we are doing this… nothing will prevent us from protecting our country’

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday criticized the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, for calling any possible attacks on nuclear sites “outlawed” after a visit to Iran.

After returning from Tehran, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Grossi said Saturday that “any military attack on a nuclear facility is outlawed, is out of the normative structures that we all abide by.”

Last month, Netanyahu said “credible military actions” could be necessary against Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons. The month prior, Israel’s then-army chief Aviv Kochavi said Israel had devised three operational plans to attack Tehran to “neutralize” its nuclear program. 

“Rafael Grossi is a worthy person who made an unworthy remark,” the Israeli premier responded. “Outside of what law? Is Iran – which publicly calls for our destruction – to protect its weapons of destruction that will slaughter us?”

“Are we forbidden to defend ourselves?” Netanyahu continued. “Of course we are allowed, and of course we are doing this… nothing will prevent us from protecting our country and preventing oppressors from destroying the Jewish state.”

The two-day visit of Grossi to Iran came as the IAEA seeks greater cooperation with the Mullah regime over its controversial nuclear activities. It also came days after the watchdog reported that uranium particles in an Iranian nuclear facility were enriched to nearly 84 percent – just short of weapons grade.

Grossi announced that Iran had agreed to reconnect surveillance cameras at its nuclear sites and to allow more inspections at the Fordo facility where the alarmingly-enriched uranium was detected. He also touted “constructive” talks with Iranian officials.

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