Don't Waver in Iran Talks, Israel Warns P5+1إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged world powers not to waver in Wednesday's key talks with Iran, warning that any failure to halt enrichment would see Tehran obtain a nuclear weapon.
"In Baghdad, we must watch out that partial concessions do not allow Iran to avoid a tightening of sanctions," he said, as a second round of talks between Tehran and six world powers got underway in the Iraqi capital.
"Without strengthening the current painful sanctions, Iran will continue towards a nuclear capability," the defense minister told Israel's public radio.
"We must not blink, give up or capitulate until the very last minute," he said.
"If they let them continue, Iran will keep on enriching uranium from 20 percent to 60 percent and 90 percent and they really will get a nuclear weapon. I don't know exactly when but it will happen," he warned.
"Now is the time for the entire world to stop them," said Barak.
The so-called P5+1 grouping of diplomats from permanent U.N. Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany held a first round of talks with Iran on April 14 in Istanbul.
A day ahead of the second round, U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano said his agency was poised to ink a deal with Tehran.
His comments were greeted with deep suspicion by Israel, which sees Iran's willingness to talk as a ploy to win an easing of sanctions and to gain more time for enrichment.
The world powers are hoping to secure Iran's agreement to suspend 20 percent enrichment and to ship its stockpiles of enriched uranium abroad.
But Israel has poured scorn on the P5+1 talks, with Barak deriding its demands of Tehran as "minimalist" and saying they would never be enough to make Iran halt its nuclear program.
"If we set the bar too low, there is a danger that they will get most, if not all of what they want, and the Iranian nuclear program will continue," he said.
Anything less than a demand to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent and to 3.5 percent, to remove all enriched uranium outside of the country, and to close down the Fordo plant near the holy city of Qom, was not enough, he said.
"The Iranians are continuing their game of chess in order to achieve nuclear weapons," he said, adding the customary warning: that "all options remain on the table" -- a reference to a possible pre-emptive military strike, which Israel has refused to rule out.
Later Wednesday, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon articulated the Israeli warning.
"The sanctions must continue and tighten, alongside international seclusion, support of the opposition and a reliable military option," he wrote on his Twitter account.
"If all this does not help, someone might have to instigate a military move against Iran," he warned, without noting who or how.
Earlier this year, Yaalon -- who served as Israel's military chief -- warned that no Iranian facility, however reinforced, is immune to Israeli attack.
The West and Israel, widely considered the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, suspect Iran is using its nuclear program to build atomic weapons, charges that Tehran denies.