Gillerman: Iran likelier to use nukes via proxies

Outgoing Israeli Ambassador to the UN: Real concern not that Teheran will launch missiles, but give them to Hamas, Hizbullah.

gillerman 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
gillerman 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The danger posed by a nuclear-armed Iran is not in that the Islamic Republic may launch an atomic bomb at Israel, but in that it could provide such a weapon to terrorist groups in the region, outgoing Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman was quoted as saying Sunday. "The real fear is not that the Iranians will be crazy enough or stupid enough to launch a missile at Israel, but that they will have no compunction about providing rogue regimes and terror organizations like Hamas and Hizbullah with weapons of mass destruction," Gillerman told The New York Times. Gillerman suggested that the world take the threats of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to wipe Israel of the map seriously. "Listen to him, and take him at face value," he told the newspaper. "For too long, much of the world, including Neville Chamberlain, believed that Hitler was just a crazy short man. I don't think we can afford to do it again." The Israeli envoy was also asked about the peace process with the Palestinians, and said that the "key" was in the Arab world. "The Palestinians' real tragedy is that they have not been able to produce a Nelson Mandela…at least [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] is willing to talk, and the Arab world should stand with him and legitimize him and stand against the extremists. They are not doing that." "Every single day," he said, "Muslims are killed by Muslims. You do not see a single Muslim leader get up and say, 'Enough is enough.' It's nearly as if we live in a world where if Christians kill Muslims, it's a crusade. If Jews kill Muslims, it's a massacre. And when Muslims kill Muslims, it's the Weather Channel. Nobody cares." Gillerman, who has served as the Israeli envoy to the UN for the last five-and-a-half years, will be replaced by Gabriela Shalev, currently the rector of the Ono Academic College and an expert in contract law. Shalev would be Israel's first woman ambassador to the UN. Herb Keinon contributed to this report.