Israel ready to tackle nuclear Iran ‘alone’: Netanyahu
Iran ready to defend against Israeli attack: envoyAgence France-Presse . United Nations
Israel is ready to act alone to stop Iran making a nuclear bomb, the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Tuesday, in a warning against rushing into deals with Tehran’s new leaders.
‘Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone,’ Netanyahu told a UN summit, in an attack on overtures made by Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani.
Netanyahu linked Rouhani, who held a landmark conversation with US president Barack Obama while in New York last week, to past attacks blamed on Iran.
‘He fooled the world once. Now he thinks he can fool it again. You see, Rouhani thinks he can have his yellow cake and eat it too,’ Netanyahu said, demanding sanctions pressure be maintained.
An Iranian diplomat quickly criticised Netanyahu’s comments as ‘extremely inflammatory.’
‘The Israeli prime minister had better not even think about attacking Iran, let alone planning for that,’ Khodadad Seifi, a deputy ambassador at Iran’s UN mission, told the UN General Assembly.
Netanyahu should ‘seriously avoid miscalculation’ in the showdown, he added.
The diplomat said Netanyahu should ‘seriously avoid miscalculation’ in the showdown.
Iran’s centuries-old policy of non aggression must not be interpreted as its inability to defend itself.
‘Unlike Israel, Iran did not and would not attack any country,’ he added in the right of reply statement.
Iran’s opponents, such as Netanyahu, have accused Iran of leading a charm offensive while pursuing nuclear weapons. Seifi said: ‘A smile attack is better than military attack. And indeed a smile policy is much better than lying.’
Last year Netanyahu used a cartoon drawing of a bomb to illustrate his warning at the UN that Iran was close to the nuclear bomb threshold — symbolised a red line he scrawled on the diagram.
There were no similar theatrics this time, but Iran immediately warned Netanyahu against making a ‘miscalculation’ by launching an attack. It also renewed its denial that it seeks a nuclear bomb.
‘I wish I could believe Rouhani. But I don’t,’ Netanyahu said.
‘Iran wants to be in a position to rush forward to build nuclear bombs before the international community can detect it and much less prevent it,’ he alleged.
A nuclear-armed Iran would be a bigger threat than North Korea, Netanyahu added.
‘As dangerous as a nuclear-armed North Korea is, it pales in comparison to the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran,’ he said.
‘A nuclear-armed Iran in the Middle East wouldn’t be another North Korea — it would be another 50 North Koreas.’
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