NEW YORK – Despite the UN’s persistent focus on the Palestinian question and the
crisis in Syria, Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor told the UN Security Council on
Tuesday morning that Iran’s nuclear program is still Israel’s priority, and
should be the world’s priority.
“[Iranian] President [Hassan] Rouhani
took center stage at the General Assembly last month, armed with his charm
offensive,” Prosor said, echoing the warnings of other Israeli ministers and
diplomats in the previous months.
“Rouhani is trying to reinforce the image that
he’s a moderate.... I have news for the president. Embracing Twitter
doesn’t make you a reformer. Embracing human rights certainly
Prosor compared Rouhani to “the emperor in new clothes, cloaking
himself as a moderate when Iranian radicalism remains clear to the naked eye.
While Rouhani provides diplomatic cover, Iran is marching towards a bomb. Since
the June election, Iran has installed thousands of new centrifuges and just last
month, the new president declared that Iran will not give up ‘one iota’ of its
Using the successful negotiations in Syria as an
example, in which the threat of a US military strike spurred the parties to a
diplomatic solution Prosor said, “You don’t need a PhD in physics to know that
The Iranian economy is crumbling under the weight of
crippling sanctions. And this pressure is getting results.
And yet some
states have suggested easing the sanctions.... We must keep up the
pressure until Iran agrees to play by the rules.”
Prosor went on to warn
that a nuclear Iran would be a threat to the already shaky balance of power in
the Middle East, with repercussions felt across the globe.
ambassador Mohammed Khazee, in his short remarks following Israel’s, spoke in
his capacity as the head of the Non- Aligned Movement and did not address
Israel's accusations about his country’s nuclear program. Instead, Khazee
accused Israel of provocations and aggressions around the major in east
Jerusalem mosques and of continued systematic aggression toward the
Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour took his opportunity to
speak to accuse Israel of various incitements and aggressions toward the
Palestinians since the relaunch of peace negotiations in July.
genuine efforts, tangible progress remains elusive, and hopes are diminishing,”
Mansour said. “Since the resumption of negotiations, the Israeli government has
approved over 3,000 settlement units and the confiscation of hundreds more
dunams of Palestinian land.”
Prosor accused the Palestinian of similar
actions, including citing the recently-discovered tunnel built by Hamas reaching
Jeffrey Feltman, under secretary- general for political
affairs, reiterated his call from his last briefing for both sides to “refrain
from violence and incitement” and calling this moment an “emerging opportunity
for diplomacy” between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
“We should do
all we can to take advantage of the opening that now exists,” he concluded.
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