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Netanyahu says Covid-19 won't diminish Israel's commitment to fighting Iran's nuclear program, urges ‘crippling’ sanction

Netanyahu says Covid-19 won't diminish Israel's commitment to fighting Iran's nuclear program, urges ‘crippling’ sanction
The coronavirus pandemic should not be an obstacle in fighting Iran, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said calling for harsh sanctions against Tehran after a critical report by the international nuclear watchdog.

The PM insisted that “coronavirus does not diminish our determination to act against Iranian aggression at all,” vowing to do everything to prevent Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon.

“Iran systematically violates its commitments by hiding sites, by enriching fissile materials and other violations,” Netanyahu said as he opened a government meeting on Sunday. 

He called on the international community to “join the US and use crippling sanctions against Iran,” after the “revelations” in the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The report that the IAEA sent to its 35 members on Friday wasn't for the public eye, but some of its details became known to the media. In the paper, the watchdog expressed “serious concern” over Tehran's continued refusal to answer questions about three sites that could've been part of its nuclear weapons program and denying access of experts to two of them.

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The IAEA also warned that Iran has a stockpile of enriched uranium more than five time that of the 300kg permitted by the 2015 nuclear deal, known under its abbreviated name JCPOA, which saw Tehran agreeing to curb its nuclear military program in exchange for relief of international restrictions.

Iran started increasing uranium enrichment and stockpiling of heavy water beyond the thresholds in May last year. It was done in response to Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the landmark deal a year earlier and the failure by European signatories to compensate Tehran for the damage caused by the US sanctions that followed.

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Iran was one of the first to be hit by the coronavirus in the Middle East. The country, which has so far recorded 172,000 confirmed cases and almost 8,300 fatalities, is now facing the second wave of the pandemic with the numbers of the infected again rising after stabilizing a month ago. Israel wasn't spared by the virus either, with 17,700 Covid-19 cases and almost 300 succumbing to the highly contagious disease.

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