UN's Ban to Netanyahu: Iran has narrow window to prove nuke program is peaceful

Ban Ki-moon, PM meet to discuss Mideast issues following Netanyahu's UNGA address; UN chief briefs premier on Syria developments, praises him for leadership in renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 2, 2013 08:14
1 minute read.
Binyamin Netanyahu and Ban Ki-moon pose for pictures after a meeting at the UNGA, Oct. 1, 2013.

Netanyahu ban un 1/10/13 370 . (photo credit: GPO / Kobi Gideon)

A narrow window of opportunity has opened for Iran to prove that its nuclear program is operating for peaceful purposes, Israel Radio reported UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as telling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.

The two met following the premier's address to the UN General Assembly to discuss regional issues.

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During the meeting, held under a heavy media black-out, Ban and Netanyahu discussed Iran, Syria and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, a statement from the UN chief's office said.

According to the statement, Ban briefed Netanyahu on developments relating to Syria's chemical weapons stockpile and plans to convene an international peace conference on Syria in Geneva by mid-November.

The UN chief also lauded Netanyahu for his leadership in renewed peace talks with the Palestinians.

The prime minister was set to begin a media blitz following the meeting to explain Israel’s position on Iran to the American public.

Netanyahu focused the majority of his address to the UN assembly discussing Iran and Israel's preparedness to take unilateral action to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining atomic weapons.

Meanwhile, Iran's ambassador to the UN accused Netanyahu as "misleading" the assembly on the purpose of Iran's nuclear program.

"Iran has an inalienable right to peaceful nuclear energy," said Mohammed Khazaee. Khazaee also echoed his president's words, saying "There is no single acceptable reason to possess a nuclear weapon, but agreeable reasons to abolish them all. Nuclear weapons have no place in the defense structuring of my country."

Maya Shwayder contributed to this report.


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