February 3, 2013 - 15:44 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Iran is acquiring new centrifuges to reduce the time it takes to enrich uranium, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of cabinet meeting Sunday, Feb 3, citing this as an example of why the country needs a national unity government, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Netanyahu said Israel is at a "decisive point" in its history, and repeated his call for a national unity government made Saturday night, when President Shimon Peres formally charged him with forming a coalition.
"The next government's primary objective will be to stop the weaponization of Iran's nuclear program," he said. "This is a task that is becoming more difficult because Iran is acquiring new centrifuges that reduce the enrichment time. We cannot accept this."
Iran announced last week that it is upgrading its nuclear enrichment equipment at the Natanz nuclear plant, something that will speed up the uranium enrichment process. A senior official in the Prime Minister's Office said following that announcement that while the West was discussing where and when to meet Iran next, Iran is speedily working toward getting the bomb.
"The international community must not let Iran get a nuclear weapon," he said.
In addition to dealing with Iran, Netanyahu said at the cabinet meeting that there were three main issues that the government will have to deal with during the first year.
The first, he said, was to approve "a responsible budget" and reform that will bring about a lower cost of living. The second issue, he said, was to significantly increase haredi participation in sharing the military and tax burden without "causing a rift in the nation."
And the third issue, he said, was to restart a "realistic and responsible" diplomatic process.
"We need to deal with these three tasks in parallel, and not only to deal with one or two of them," Netanyahu said, adding that this can only be done with a wide national unity government. "Our goal is to unite the nation around these goals, and not to divide it. Only uniting forces, as wide as possible, will make it possible to deal with these challenges and ensure Israel's security and future at the current time."