IAEA report says 350 additional centrifuges were recently installed in the Fordo underground uranium enrichment facility • Iranians will be asked to explain why they are expanding enrichment capacity while attending nuclear talks in Baghdad.
It’s no longer possible to pretend we don’t know the intentions of Iran’s rulers. They keep telling us, candidly, clearly and repeatedly. Most recently on Sunday: Addressing a gathering in Tehran, Maj. Gen Hassan Firouzabadi, chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, vowed the “full annihilation of the Zionist regime of Israel to the end.”
A few days earlier, during a presentation at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a respected Israeli think tank, the former Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar, recalled a “private discussion” in Tehran in October 2000 with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who told him: “Israel must be burned to the ground and made to disappear from the face of the Earth.”
Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the U.N. who now heads the JCPA, wanted to be certain there was no misunderstanding. He asked Aznar: Was Khamenei suggesting “a gradual historical process involving the collapse of the Zionist state, or rather its physical-military termination?”
“He meant physical termination through military force,” Aznar replied. Khamenei called Israel “a historical cancer” — an echo of Nazi rhetoric that he has employed on numerous occasions, the last time in public on Feb. 3.
Iranian negotiators accuse world powers of creating “a difficult atmosphere” that is hindering talks on its nuclear program • Iranian media report that the West handed Iran “a list of Israeli demands” • “As long as the centrifuges are spinning, we will not remain calm,” says Israeli vice prime minister.
Baghdad session to conclude Thursday night, more talks set for Geneva in June
Turkish daily Sabah reports that Turkish attorney-general ready to issue indictments of Israeli officers for their role in the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010 • Former Israeli chief of general staff and navy commander among targets.