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‘Israel, US to stage large-scale military drill when Iran nuclear deal expires’

The US and Israel will hold a large-scale joint military exercise in six months,
Time
magazine reported on Wednesday.

Israeli officials declined to
comment on or confirm the report.

The drill, scheduled for May – which
coincides with the deadline for talks between Iran and the international
community – will come after a period in which Israel will seek to enhance
further the military threat against Iran, the report said, citing an unnamed
Israeli officer.

“Israel will likely continue to dissent, while making
conspicuous efforts to rehabilitate the military threat that did so much to
bring Tehran’s project onto the agenda,” the source was quoted as
saying.

“The strategic decision is to continue to make noise,” he
added.

The exercise will be part of a message sent by Israel, to both a
domestic audience and to Iran, showing that the IDF is maintaining its ability
to attack the Iranian nuclear program, the report continued.

But the US
European Command told Time the exercise was planned ahead of time and was
independent of any current developments. A spokesman for EUCOM added that a
decision has not yet been made on the scale of the joint
exercise.

Meanwhile, Iran has invited UN inspectors to visit its Arak
heavy-water production plant on December 8, the first concrete step under a
cooperation agreement to clarify concerns about Tehran’s disputed nuclear
program.

Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic
Energy Agency, also said the IAEA was looking into how Sunday’s agreement
between Iran and six world powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear activity could be
“put into practice” concerning the UN agency’s role in verifying the
deal.

The IAEA will expand its monitoring of Iran’s uranium enrichment
sites and other facilities under the interim accord, reached after marathon
talks between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and
China.

“This will include the implications for funding and staffing,”
Amano told the IAEA’s 35-nation governing board, according to a copy of his
speech. “This analysis will take some time. I will consult the board as soon as
possible when it has been completed.”

The IAEA’s visit next month to the
heavy-water production plant near the town of Arak is part of a separate
agreement signed earlier this month between the Vienna-based UN agency and
Iran.

The IAEA has not been at the site for about two years, despite
repeated requests, but Iran agreed on November 11 to grant access to this
facility, as well as to a uranium mine, within three months.

The Arak
facility produces heavy water intended for use in a nearby research reactor that
is under construction. The West is concerned that the reactor, which Iran
has said could start up next year, could yield plutonium for bombs once it is
operational. Iran says it will produce medical isotopes.

Iran has
agreed to halt installation work at the reactor and to stop making fuel for it.

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Article source: http://www.jpost.com/Iranian-Threat/News/Israel-US-to-stage-large-scale-drill-when-Iran-nuclear-deal-expires-333302

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