IAEA Confirms Israeli Concerns

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Over the weekend, Israel's Foreign Ministry responded to the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) report, released Friday, on Iran's nuclear program.

"The report determines that Iran is involved in activities that are part of the development of nuclear weapons. In Israel's eyes, this conclusion and others in the report strengthen the need for a continued, comprehensive and deep investigation of all of Iran's nuclear activities," read an Israeli Foreign Ministry statement.

On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the U.N. Security Council should impose a third set of sanctions on Iran.

"The United Nations has a very strong case for passing a third Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Iran after the new report from the IAEA found that Iran failed to cooperate fully with its investigators and left unanswered, crucial questions about its nuclear past," Rice said.

"This report demonstrates that whatever the Iranians may be doing to try to clean up some elements in the past, it is inadequate, given their current activities, given questions about their past activities and given what we all have to worry about, which is a future in which Iran could start to perfect the technologies that could lead to nuclear weapons," she said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded Saturday by saying that if the U.N. imposed sanctions for the next 100 years, it would not deter Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"If they want to continue with that path [sanctions], we will not be harmed," Ahmadinejad said on state-run television. "They can issue resolutions for 100 years," he said, adding that if the sanctions continue, "we have designed reciprocal actions."

Meanwhile at his weekly press conference, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Ahmadinejad's first visit to Iraq as president of the Islamic Republic is tentatively scheduled for March 2.

"The visit is tentatively set for March 2," Hosseini told reporters. "We are working on fixing the exact date for the visit," he said, which was extended by the Iraqi government within the framework of "friendly ties."

During the two-day visit, Ahmadinejad will meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani.

Sources: The Associated Press, israel national news

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