Israel Tells UN Iran Wants 'To Dominate' Region By Nuclear Umbrella
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned on Monday that Iran had crossed "all red lines" in its nuclear program and vowed that Israel would not allow Tehran to acquire a nuclear weapon.
In his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Bennett said Iran seeks to dominate the Middle East under a "nuclear umbrella," and threatens Israel with its proxy forces.
“Over the past few years, Iran has made a major leap forward… Iran’s nuclear weapon program is at a critical point,” he said. “All red lines have been crossed. Inspections — ignored. All wishful thinking — proven false.”
Israel, which was apprehensive about the 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA) between Iran and world powers, supported former US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement and his ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against the Islamic Republic.
With the election of Joe Biden and his declared policy to return to the JCPOA, both former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his successor Bennett have been warning against making a new agreement that would allow Tehran
to acquire nuclear arms.
“Iran is violating the IAEAs safeguard agreements — and it’s getting away with it. They harass inspectors and sabotage their investigations — and they’re getting away with it. They enrich uranium to the level of 60 percent, which is one step short of weapons-grade material — and they’re getting away with it,” he said.
But Israel is also conducting careful diplomacy with the Biden administration, whose support it needs. Last week, after the vocal opposition by a small group of US lawmakers, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved assistance to refurbish Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
“Iran’s nuclear program has hit a watershed moment, and so has our tolerance. Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning. There are those in the world who seem to view Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons as an inevitable reality, or they’ve just become tired of hearing about it,” the Israeli leader maintained. He warned that “Israel doesn’t have that privilege. We will not tire. We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. Iran is much weaker, much more vulnerable than it seems.”
Beyond the specter of a nuclear Iran, Bennet also warned of new Iranian weapons systems. “Just this year, Iran made operational a new deadly terror unit — swarms of killer UAVs armed with lethal weapons that can attack any place any time. They plan to blanket the skies of the Middle East with this lethal force.”
The Israeli prime minister also pointed at dangers on its borders posed by Iran’s proxy forces. “We cannot lose sight for one moment of what’s happening in our neighborhood. Israel is, quite literally, surrounded by Hezbollah, Shia militias, Islamic Jihad and Hamas. On our borders. These terror groups seek to dominate the Middle East and spread radical Islam across the world. What do they all have in common? They all want to destroy my country, and they’re all backed by Iran,” he said.
In recent days, Israeli officials have said that chances for successful nuclear talks between the United States and Iran have declined and Washington is considering a ‘Plan B’. But Bennet strongly warned of what Israel call the strategic threat from Iran.
“Iran’s great goal is crystal clear to anybody who cares to open their eyes: Iran seeks to dominate the region — and seeks to do so under a nuclear umbrella.”