IAEA report points to need to stop Iran, Israel says
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran's nuclear activities backs the view of Israel and the world community that Iran is developing nuclear weapons and points to the need to stop Tehran's nuclear programme, Israel said Wednesday, dpa reported.
"The significance of the report is that the international community must bring about the cessation of Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons," a government statement said, in the first official Israeli reaction to the report, released Tuesday.
"The IAEA report corroborates the position of the international community, and of Israel, that Iran is developing nuclear weapons," the Israeli statement said, and added that Tehran's pursuit of nuclear weapons endangers the peace of the world and of the Middle East."
The Israeli reaction was published in the late afternoon, local time.
The Ha'aretz daily had earlier quoted unnamed government officials as saying that Israel wanted first to see the world's response to the IAEA findings, because it did not want to appear to be taking the lead role in efforts to pile more pressure on Iran over its nuclear activities.
Israeli media commentators were almost unanimous in saying that Western intelligence agencies, including Israel's Mossad, had for years known the findings presented in the IAEA report.
"The intensity, sharpness and accuracy of the IAEA report knocked the commentators off their seats yesterday, but did not really surprise anyone in the security and political establishment in Israel," commentator Ben Caspit wrote in the Ma'ariv daily.