Netanyahu, Israel, Iran, U.S.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel sought on Tuesday to stand aside from the conflict between its close ally the United States and Iran, and said it was unclear whether Tehran’s abandonment of uranium enrichment limits meant it was on a path toward a nuclear weapon.

The unusually muted Israeli comments on Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy, emerged after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet met on Monday amid concern over Iranian retaliation for the U.S. strike in Baghdad on Friday that killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most celebrated military commander.

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Asked on Israel Radio whether Iran was “on the way to an atomic bomb”, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, one of Netanyahu’s closest lieutenants and a member of the security cabinet, said: “It’s too early to say.”

Iran, which has denied seeking to build nuclear arms, said on Sunday it would abandon limitations on enriching uranium, which can be used to make nuclear warheads.

Iran had already breached many of the restrictions of a deal with world powers designed to curb its nuclear programmers, agreed in 2015, which U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018.

But Iran also said on Sunday it would continue to cooperate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog and could reverse its steps if U.S. sanctions were removed.

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Steinitz reiterated Netanyahu’s pledge that Israel would never let Iran to build a nuclear arsenal, a line that Trump has echoed emphatically.

Asked what action Israel should take now, Steinitz said: “There is tension between Iran and the United States and we’re not involved, so I don’t want to relate to it. We’re standing on the sidelines and observing events.”

Source: Reuters

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