JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran on Sunday that Israel would not allow it to obtain nuclear weapons, after sanctions were lifted under Tehran's historic nuclear deal with global powers.

“Israel's policy has been and will remain exactly what has been followed: to not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting, according to his office.

Netanyahu strongly opposed the nuclear deal with Israel's arch-foe Iran and argued that it would not prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

He has also said that the lifting of sanctions will allow Iran to further back proxy militants in the region, including Israeli enemies Hezbollah.

Israel has not ruled out military force in order to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, though analysts say unilateral action would be highly unlikely.

Netanyahu said Israel will continue to monitor Iran's agreements “on nuclear, on ballistic missiles and on terrorism” for potential violations.

If violations occur, the international community should “take tough and aggressive sanctions” against Iran, Netanyahu said, adding that Israel “is ready to face any threat”.

Israel is the Middle East's sole, but undeclared, nuclear power.

Netanyahu said in a statement on Saturday that “Iran has not relinquished its ambition to obtain nuclear weapons” and pledged to “warn of any violation” of the agreement.

The UN's atomic watchdog late on Saturday confirmed that Iran had complied with its obligations under last summer's accord and the United States and European Union announced they were lifting the sanctions that have for years crippled the country's economy.

The highly complex deal drew a line under a standoff dating back to 2002 marked by failed diplomatic initiatives, ever-tighter sanctions, defiant nuclear expansion by Iran and threats of military action.

In addition the nuclear talks put Iran and the United States on the road to better relations, more than three decades after the Islamic revolution that toppled the US-backed shah.

Netanyahu's harsh opposition to the accord, including in a speech to the US Congress, led to troubled ties with the United States, Israel's most important ally. He has scaled back his public comments on the deal in recent weeks.

Opinion

Editorial

The fall guy
18 Aug, 2022

The fall guy

WITH one camp in the PML-N repeatedly undermining the party’s own government, it is no wonder that economic and...
Never-ending scourge
18 Aug, 2022

Never-ending scourge

POLIO eradication efforts in the country appear to have suddenly taken a giant leap backwards. A day after...
Frozen Afghan funds
18 Aug, 2022

Frozen Afghan funds

WITH Afghanistan facing a humanitarian catastrophe and economic collapse, the American decision to not release ...
No end to hostility
Updated 17 Aug, 2022

No end to hostility

It is time for all parties to rise above petty tactics and hostilities for political gains and pull country back from brink.
Deadly accidents
17 Aug, 2022

Deadly accidents

TWO horrific accidents on Tuesday, which resulted in high death tolls, illustrate the dangers people face while ...
New banknote
17 Aug, 2022

New banknote

PAKISTAN has a new currency note to mark the diamond jubilee of independence. The 75-rupee banknote, issued by the...