Netanyahu ramps up sanctions rhetoric

Feb. 22, 2010 at 9:16 AM
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JERUSALEM, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The Israeli prime minister said sanctions against Iran must have teeth as Tehran announces plans to build two new uranium enrichment facilities.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the chief of the Iranian atomic energy organization, said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad aims to bring two new uranium facilities online for enrichment activities.

"God willing, in the next Iranian year as ordered by the president, we may start the construction of two new enrichment sites," he told the Iranian Students' News Agency.

The atomic energy chief added the facilities would be constructed inside mountains to avoid a military attack.

Tehran announced in early February that it would move ahead with plans to enrich uranium to 20 percent. Iranian officials said they need enriched uranium for civilian use, notably for medical technology.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday that Iran's nuclear ambitions were the "biggest threat to humanity," Israel's Ynetnews reports.

Washington and its allies said enrichment is troubling, adding 20 percent is an important technological milestone for weapons development.

Netanyahu said any sanctions against Iran must be strong enough to stop a march toward nuclear weapons.

"These sanctions must have teeth; soft and lenient sanctions won't have the necessary affect," he said. "They should not be implemented only in order to check them off a list."

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