The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has applauded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the UN General Assembly, in which he unequivocally stated that Israel would not permit the Shia Islamist extremist regime in Iran to obtain nuclear weapons and that, if necessary, Israel would resort to military action alone if no other option was available to achieve that vital objective. The ZOA also applauds Mr. Netanyahu’s incisive exposure of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s past record of involvement in the murder of Jews in Iranian-engineered terrorist attacks, including membership of the Iranian government committee that plotted the July1994 bombing of the Jewish community center, the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in which 85 people were killed and hundreds more maimed, and Rouhani’s bragging about deceiving the international community over the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
In his speech, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that “Israel will never acquiesce to nuclear arms in the hands of a rogue regime that repeatedly promises to wipe us off the map. Against such a threat, Israel will have no choice but to defend itself. I want there to be no confusion on this point. Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone. Yet, in standing alone, Israel will know that we will be defending many, many others.”
Mr. Netanyahu also said that that the only meaningful diplomatic solution to the problem of Iran’s nuclear weapons program is one that achieves four things –– “First, cease all uranium enrichment. This is called for by several Security Council resolutions. Second, remove from Iran’s territory the stockpiles of enriched uranium. Third, dismantle the infrastructure for nuclear breakout capability, including the underground facility at Qom and the advanced centrifuges in Natanz. And, four, stop all work at the heavy water reactor in Iraq aimed at the production of plutonium.” Mr. Netanyahu also said Iran is positioning itself to build nuclear bombs at a time of its choosing, while being careful not to cross the nuclear weapons threshold until that moment so as not to precipitate international preventative action.
Prime Minister Netanyahu also dissected new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s long career of extremism, violence and deception on Iran’s nuclear program to warn the world against accepting Rouhani’s duplicitous charm offensive and conciliatory words at face value. He noted that Rouhani, whom he called “a wolf in sheep’s clothing, trying to pull the wool over the world’s eyes” was one of only six candidates permitted to run for office by the Iranian regime and that he headed Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (1989-2003) at a time when Iranian operatives were murdering Iranian opposition figures and U.S. servicemen abroad, including 19 American soldiers blown up in the Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia. Of these events, Mr. Netanyahu asked, “Are we to believe that Rouhani, the national security adviser of Iran at the time, knew nothing about these attacks? Of course he did, just as 30 years ago Iran’s security chiefs knew about the bombings in Beirut that killed 241 American Marines and 58 French paratroopers.”
Mr. Netanyahu also observed that Rouhani served as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator (2003-05), a period marked by Iranian diplomatic deception regarding its concealed nuclear program. He even quotes Rouhani, who boasted in a 2011 book that, “While we were talking to the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing [nuclear] equipment in Isfahan.”
Regarding Iran’s claim that its nuclear program is entirely designed for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, Mr. Netanyahu noted, “You don’t build ICBMs to carry TNT thousands of miles away; you build them for one purpose, to carry nuclear warheads. And Iran is building now ICBMs that the United States says could reach this city in three or four years.”
Mr. Netanyahu also cautioned against accepting Iranian promises, noting the record of other dictatorships in lying about nuclear weapons, like North Korea, which in 2005 agreed to dismantle its nuclear weapons program and abide by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and admit international inspectors, only to explode its first nuclear device the next year. (‘Transcript of Netanyahu’s UN General Assembly speech,’ Haaretz, October 1, 2013).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We applaud Prime Minister Netanyahu’s strong, clear and focused speech to the UN in which he made it clear that, if U.S. and international efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program do not bear fruit, Israel will act militarily –– if necessary, alone –– to prevent Tehran becoming a nuclear power.
“We welcome this statement, for two reasons. First, it is the correct policy. Israel cannot let its fate be decided by others. Second, this statement might help international efforts to peacefully stop Iran developing nuclear weapons, because it conveys a determination to stop Iran that many have thought lacking elsewhere. This Israeli determination might help to dissuade the Iranian regime from continuing on its present course.
“The threat and reach of a nuclear Iran is enormous. It already is the pay-master and supplier of vicious terrorist groups, Shia and Sunni, including Hizballah and Hamas. It has even cooperated with al-Qaeda in attacking U.S. forces in Iraq and provided safe haven for at least one of Osama Bin Laden’s sons. Lebanon and Syria have been devastated by the forces allied to Tehran. Should Iran obtain a nuclear weapon, the terrorist atrocities that we have seen, like that in Nairobi, Kenya last week, will look like child’s play.
“Few realize that a nuclear-armed Iranian regime poses not only an existential threat to Israel, but huge risk to the United States. Imagine the shadow of nuclear blackmail under which America will be obliged to live if Iran gets such weapons. Even if Iran never fires them at the U.S., who really believes Iran won’t give such weapons to terrorists or even a future Palestinian state? And who believes that, once having such weapons, terrorists won’t use them against the U.S.? And even if neither uses them, what unending series of concessions and retreats will America have to undertake to ensure that this continues? Once Iran gets the bomb, our freedom and security may well compromised beyond anything we imagined.
“While we are pleased that President Obama reaffirmed in recent days that all options are on the table, including the use of military force, in dealing with the Iranian threat, we cannot derive the comfort we would like to have from these words. For four and a half years, President Obama has done little to persuade Iran that he means business while Iran continues to move forward in its nuclear program. He delayed a vote on Congressional sanctions for over a year, then delayed passage and diluted the sanctions that were legislated. The UN Security Council sanctions that have been passed include exemptions for Tehran’s supporters and enablers, like Russia and China, rendering less effective.
“When Iranians were being killed in the streets for protesting the rigged 2009 Iranian presidential elections that confirmed the extremist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in office, President Obama declined to support them, calling the disturbances an internal matter –– quite the opposite approach to the one he took in Egypt, where he urged Hosni Mubarak, an American ally, to stand aside immediately following violence and demonstrations, and call for elections involving Islamist extremists like the Muslim Brotherhood and which actually brought the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohamed Morsi, to power.
“Now, we have seen President Obama subcontract U.S. foreign policy over Syria to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and pursue new negotiations with Iran, despite Iran having fulfilled not one request on its nuclear program, after five years of failed diplomacy.
“Why has President Obama not insisted, as a minimal condition of further negotiations, that Iran stop its centrifuges and work for international support for this position? Without this, Iran can simply run out the clock.
“In the absence of a clearly demonstrated and unambiguous U.S. commitment to stopping Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech served as a timely and important corrective in serving notice that at least one government is determined to prevent Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, even if it must act militarily and alone.”