Netanyahu: Israel won’t let Iran get nuclear arms [VIDEO]
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Israel’s prime minister declared Tuesday that his country will never allow Iran to get nuclear weapons, even if it has to act alone, and dismissed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s “charm offensive” as a ruse to get relief from sanctions.
Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, played the spoiler to Iran’s overtures to warm ties with the U.S. after decades of estrangement. Last week, the U.S. and Iranian presidents spoke on the phone, the highest level contacts between their countries in 34 years.
Netanyahu said Israel’s future is threatened by a “nuclear-armed” Iran seeking its destruction and urged the international community to keep up pressure through sanctions.
“Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons,” he said. “If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone, but in standing alone Israel will know that we will be defending many, many others,” Netanyahu added.
Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee shot back: “Unlike Israel, Iran would not and did not attack any country.”
Exercising Iran’s right of reply in the assembly, he added: “It is not due to its inability, but due to its principled policy in rejecting any use of force. ... Therefore the Israeli prime minister had better not even think about attacking Iran let alone planning for that.”
At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney said Netanyahu’s skepticism about Iran and its intentions is “entirely justifiable” because until recently Iran’s leadership “was pledging to annihilate Israel.” He said the U.S. share’s Israel’s goal of keeping Iran from obtaining a nuclear.
Carney stressed that Obama will be “very firm” on demanding verifiable, transparent action to ensure Iran has given up its nuclear weapons ambitions.
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