Iran's nuclear program has crossed 'all red lines': Israel PM

United Nations (United States) (AFP) –


Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday that Iran had breached all the "red lines" aimed at curbing its nuclear weapons program but that Israel "will not allow" Tehran to get the bomb.

In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, Bennett claimed the Islamic republic had in recent years taken "a major leap forward" in its nuclear production capacity and ability to enrich weapons-grade uranium.

"Iran's nuclear weapon program is at a critical point, all red lines have been crossed," said Bennett, who took office in June.

"There are those in the world who seem to see Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons as an inevitable reality, as a done deal, or they have just become tired of hearing about it," the 49-year-old premier told the world body.

"Israel doesn't have that privilege. We cannot tire. We will not tire. Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon."

Iran, which says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes, said Friday that it expected talks to resume soon on reviving a 2015 landmark agreement scaling back its program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Bennett's predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in power from 2009 until June, was among the world's fiercest critics of the accord, regularly condemning it at international forums.

Bennett, a foreign policy hawk who heads an ideologically disparate, eight-party coalition government, also opposes the Iran nuclear deal, but did not mention it in his UN address.