“Nuclear” threat? At the UN, Netanyahu warns the Iranian regime

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the UN on Friday about a "nuclear threat" against Iran, before his services withdrew his remarks citing a slip of the tongue

“Nuclear” threat? At the UN, Netanyahu warns the Iranian regime

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the UN on Friday about a "nuclear threat" against Iran, before his services withdrew his remarks citing a slip of the tongue.

Conversely, he welcomed the fact that his country and Saudi Arabia were "close" to a "historic" peace, a rapprochement which is not to Tehran's liking.

During his speech to the UN General Assembly, the Prime Minister once again attacked his pet peeve, the Iranian regime, and its controversial nuclear program.

“As long as I am Prime Minister of Israel, I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” he promised.

“Above all, Iran must face a credible nuclear threat,” he insisted.

But his services quickly withdrew these comments. The text of the speech mentioned the need for a credible "military" threat to curb Iran's nuclear program, and not "nuclear", assured the Prime Minister's office, citing "a misreading".

“The Prime Minister maintains the original text of his speech,” his office added.

“I imagine Netanyahu made a pronunciation error,” Richard Gowan, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, commented to AFP, noting that he was not the first leader to reverse words during a speech in the UN forum.

"It's no secret that Israel has its own nuclear deterrent. But I don't think Netanyahu plans to advertise his atomic bombs at the UN," he added.

Israel, which has never confirmed nor denied possessing atomic weapons, holds 90 nuclear warheads, according to the latest estimates from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).

Iran denies wanting to obtain nuclear weapons but its stocks of enriched uranium have exceeded the levels authorized by the 2015 agreement on Iranian civil nuclear power, concluded under President Barack Obama and from which his successor withdrew in 2018 Donald Trump.

This pact was supposed to limit Iran's civilian atomic activities in exchange for a lifting of international sanctions.

“This policy must change,” insisted Mr. Netanyahu.

The Prime Minister also assured that Israel and Saudi Arabia were “close” to “historic peace”.

The Saudi Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, nicknamed MBS, indicated on Wednesday, in an interview with American television Fow News, that the Sunni monarchy and the Hebrew state were "getting closer every day" to a normalization of their relationships.

“Such a peace would go a long way to putting an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, it would encourage other Arab countries to normalize their relations with Israel, it would increase the possibilities of peace with the Palestinians,” Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday.

But "I believe we should not give the Palestinians a veto over new peace treaties with Arab states," he said. "The Palestinians could greatly benefit from a broader peace. They must participate in this process."

This week in New York, Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi denounced such an eventuality, which according to him would be “a stab in the back of the Palestinians”.

However, Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, historic rival powers in the Gulf, also began a surprise normalization in the spring, under the aegis of China.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, for his part, warned at the UN that there would be no peace in the Middle East without taking into account the "legitimate rights" of his people. that is to say the implementation of a two-state solution.

09/22/2023 9:18:48 p.m. -         United Nations (United States) (AFP) -         © 2023 AFP