Israeli Prime Minister Urges Firmness on Iran Nuclear Weapons Program

NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eloquently urged the international community today to maintain the pressure on Iran until it dismantles its nuclear weapons program.

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"The only way to peacefully prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons is to combine tough sanctions with a credible military threat," said Netanyahu in his address to the UN General Assembly. He maintained that "the only diplomatic solution that would work is one that fully dismantles Iran's nuclear weapons program and prevents it from having one in the future."

AJC Executive Director David Harris praised the Israeli leader's speech.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered today a compelling clarion call for the entire world about Iran," said Harris. "The stakes are very high, with no room for wishful or illusory thinking about Iran's intentions. No one seeks confrontation for confrontation's sake. But until the Iranian regime comes clean on its nuclear program and fully cooperates with the international community, maximum pressure is absolutely necessary. History's lessons on this score could not be clearer."

Netanyahu cautioned the international community not to be fooled by the new Iranian government's facade of moderation and apparent willingness to compromise on its nuclear ambitions in return for easing of economic sanctions. "I wish I could believe it, but I don't," he said.

He argued that the current Iranian "charm offensive," mounted to convince the world to drop the increasingly effective economic sanctions, was a ruse intended to allow Iran to continue its nuclear program, much as North Korea fooled the international community into allowing it to develop the bomb.

"Israel will never acquiesce to nuclear arms in the hands of a rogue regime that repeatedly promises to wipe us off the map," said Netanyahu. "If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone. Yet, in standing alone, Israel will know that we are defending many, many others."

"The last century has taught us that when a radical regime with global ambitions gets awesome power, sooner or later its appetite for aggression knows no bounds," said Netanyahu. "The world may have forgotten" this central lesson of the 20th century, but "the Jewish people have not."

SOURCE American Jewish Committee



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