Netanyahu downplays Grossi’s warnings about potential military action against Iran

On Sunday, Israel downplayed statements by the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, when he said that any Israeli or US attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would be illegal, calling these statements “worthless”.

“Any military attack on nuclear facilities is prohibited,” Grossi said on Saturday during a visit to Tehran in a bid to ease talks in stalemate over the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Grossi’s observations have been made in response to a reporter’s question about threats by Israel and the United States to attack Iranian nuclear facilities if they believe diplomatic means to prevent Iran from acquiring an atomic bomb have reached an impasse.

“Rafael Grossi is a worthy person who made a worthless statement,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cab on Sunday in a televised speech.

Netanyahu asked, “Illegal under any law? Is it permissible for Iran, which is openly calling for our destruction, to prepare slaughtering tools for our destruction? Are we prohibited from defending ourselves? Of course, we are permitted to do so.”

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency said on Saturday that Grossi had received widespread assurances from Iran that it would cooperate with a long-stalled investigation into the uranium particles found in undeclared sites and would reinstall removed tracking devices.