Issued on: 27/09/2021 – 23:40
United Nations (United States) (AFP)
Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday Iran had breached all the “red lines” aimed at curbing its nuclear weapons program, but that Israel “will not allow” Tehran to get the bomb.
In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, Bennett claimed the Islamic republic had in recent years taken “a major leap forward” in its nuclear production capacity and ability to enrich weapons-grade uranium.
“Iran’s nuclear weapon program is at a critical point, all red lines have been crossed,” said Bennett, who took office in June.
“There are those in the world who seem to see Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons as an inevitable reality, as a done deal, or they have just become tired of hearing about it,” the 49-year-old premier told the world body.
“Israel doesn’t have that privilege. We cannot tire. We will not tire. Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”
Iran responded rapidly, with its ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht Ravanchi, saying on Twitter that Bennett’s speech was “full of lies.”
“That regime is in no position to discuss our peaceful program when it has hundreds of nuclear warheads,” he said.
Iran, which says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes, said Friday that it expected talks to resume soon on reviving a 2015 landmark agreement scaling back its program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The agreement started to fall apart in 2018 when the US withdrew from it and reinstated sanctions. Iran in turn again started to ramp up its nuclear activities.
– After Netanyahu –
Bennett’s predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in power from 2009 until June, was among the world’s fiercest critics of the accord, regularly condemning it at international forums and cheering former US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw.
Bennett, a foreign policy hawk who heads…