Photo Credit: Haim Zach / GPO
Former IAEA official Olli Heinonen and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised former United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency official Olli Heinonen on Thursday for having the courage to point out Iranian nuclear activities.

Heinonen, a former IAEA Deputy Director General for Safeguards at the international atomic energy agency, met in Jerusalem at the prime minister’s office with Netanyahu.


“It’s very clear Iran is lying,” the prime minister said at a joint news conference. “Iran is continuing to work towards an arsenal of nuclear bombs and we’re committed to stop it.

“Thank you for your forthright analysis and your clear-cut conclusion. I thank you for pointing out what Iran is doing.”

Heinonen thanked Netanyahu for the courageous operation by Israel’s Mossad agents who smuggled out the Iranian documents proving the truth of Tehran’s ongoing nuclear activities.

READ: Full Transcript of Netanyahu’s Iran Nuclear Expose

“Thank you for this brave action of taking them,” he said, “because this gives the material for the international community to think about it and it’s a good place on how to talk with the Iranians, how to stop it.”

Heinonen said in an interview during the day Wednesday with Israel’s Galei Tzahal Army Radio that Israel and the Gulf States “have good reason to worry” because the Islamic Republic is “actually weaponizing uranium enrichment without making a weapon.”

According to his calculations, he said, Iran could acquire the amount of enriched uranium needed to produce a nuclear weapon within six to eight months “if they put in their maximum effort.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.