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IAEA chief reiterates opposition to any Israeli, US strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites

Despite claims that striking a nuclear site is ‘illegal’, UN charter permits Israe to take military action in self-defense

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi addresses a news conference during an IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna, Austria, Mar. 6, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)

The Dir.-Gen. of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi reiterated on Monday his opposition to any preemptive strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites, despite IAEA inspectors last month revealing Iran had enriched uranium to 84%, just short of the 90% weapons-grade level.

Following a meeting with senior Iranian officials in Tehran, Grossi declared that any Israeli or American strikes against Iran’s nuclear sites would be considered illegal.

During a Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted Grossi and accused him of siding with Iran. 

“Rafael Grossi is a worthy person who made an unworthy remark. Outlawed by what law? Is Iran, which publicly calls for our extermination, allowed to protect its weapons of destruction that will slaughter us?” asked Netanyahu. 

“Are we forbidden to defend ourselves? Of course, we are allowed. And of course, we are doing this. … Nothing will prevent us from protecting our country and preventing oppressors from destroying the Jewish state,” he vowed. 

IAEA Chief Grossi declined to respond to Netanyahu, except for claiming that his declaration was rooted in international law. 

“I wouldn’t comment of course on what the prime minister of Israel would say about me. There is nothing new really in what I said. I reiterated international law,” said Grossi. 

Article 51 of the United Nations Charter explicitly permits member states to undertake military action in self-defense when they are facing threats or violence. The Iranian regime has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the map. 

In 2019, one of Iran’s most senior military commanders, Deputy Leader Hossein Salami of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, explicitly threatened to destroy the State of Israel. 

“Our strategy is to erase Israel from the global political map. And it seems that, considering the evil that Israel is doing, it is bringing itself closer to that,” Salami said

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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