Israel alleged on Wednesday that Iran's conciliatory statements about its disputed nuclear ambitions are aimed only at holding off further international action against the Persian Gulf power's suspected pursuit of an atomic-arms capacity, Reuters reported.
"The picture that the Iranian representatives are portraying regarding openness and transparency of their nuclear program ... stands in sharp contradiction with Iran's actual actions and the facts on the ground," Israeli Atomic Energy Commission chief Shaul Chorev said at the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference in Vienna, Austria.
Since taking office last month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has reassigned nuclear negotiation duties in Tehran and conveyed optimism over anticipated atomic talks with the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany. Diplomats from Tehran and the six world powers have failed over years of meetings to resolve concerns that military aims are driving Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran insists is strictly peaceful.
Chorev played down the importance of any changes to Iran's foreign affairs staff or "diplomatic vocabulary." Tehran is employing "deception and concealment, creating a false impression about the status of its engagement with the agency ... with a view to buy more time in Iran's daily inching forward in every aspect of its nuclear military program," he said.
President Obama, though, on Tuesday voiced hope that Tehran would take new conciliatory steps, Reuters reported. Rouhani appears to be "looking to open dialogue with the West and with the United States, in a way that we haven't seen in the past. And so we should test it," Obama told Telemundo, a U.S.-based, Spanish-language television network.
A former high-level U.S. nonproliferation official added that Iran's “new leadership is very, very different," the Christian Science Monitor reported. "They are realistic, they’re pragmatic, they have no illusions about the economic predicament they are in," said Robert Einhorn, who in May stepped down as State Department special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said he plans in coming days to confer with President Obama on "stopping Iran's nuclear program," and to address the U.N. General Assembly on the same subject.
Until Tehran ceases all uranium refinement, surrenders its entire enriched uranium stockpile, shutters its Qum facility and halts steps toward possible plutonium production, "the pressure on Iran must be increased and not relaxed, and certainly not eased," Netanyahu said in released comments.