Netanyahu Slams IAEA Chief for Saying Attacks on Nuclear Facilities are ‘Outlawed’

The US and Israel have been threatening military action against Iran's nuclear facilities even though Tehran is not building a bomb

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday slammed International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi for saying attacks on nuclear facilities are “outlawed.”

Israel has a history of launching covert attacks against Iranian nuclear facilities, and Netanyahu has been threatening to take more overt action. US officials have also said President Biden will keep a military option on the table to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon even though the Pentagon and CIA recently acknowledged Tehran is not seeking a bomb.

Grossi just returned from a visit to Iran, where he secured a pledge for the IAEA to receive more access to Iranian nuclear facilities. When asked about the US and Israeli threats, Grossi said that “any military attack on a nuclear facility is outlawed, is out of the normative structures that we all abide by.”

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

Often missing from the conversation about Iran’s nuclear program is the fact that Israel has a secret nuclear arsenal that is not subject to any inspections. The US doesn’t acknowledge the existence of Israel’s arsenal and doesn’t pressure Israel to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Netanyahu’s threats against Iran have increased in recent weeks, and the US has made clear it has Israel’s back. Tom Nides, the US ambassador to Israel, said in February that Israel “can and should do whatever they need” against Iran and that the US has “got their back.” The comments came a few weeks after an Israeli drone attack hit a facility in the Iranian city of Isfahan.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.