Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu Presented Simple Diagram Concerning Iran to UN General Assembly
PM Netanyahu pleaded that nothing less than the "security of the world" is at stake.
"A red line must be drawn on Iran's nuclear enrichment program" Netanyahu stated while holding a simplistic diagram showing the crudest of bombs and a red line symbolically disabling it. The Prime Minister stated that he believes that Iran will ultimately back down when forced into a corner.
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"Throughout our history the Jewish people have overcome all the tyrants who sought our destruction," he said. "The Jewish people have come home. We will never be uprooted again."
The prime minister was speaking amid concerns in Israel that it may be running out to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power and threatening Israel's existence.
It also comes amid tensions between the Obama administration and his own over that issue.
Netanyahu's demand that President Obama declare "red lines" that would trigger an American attack on Iran's nuclear facilities has been rejected in Washington and sparked a public rift between the two leaders.
Further, Obama did not meet with Netanyahu this week during his visit to the U.N., drawing rebukes from pro-Israel Republicans in Washington.
Obama briefly addressed the Iranian threat during his remarks Tuesday to the United Nations, saying the U.S. "will do what we must" to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon.
"Make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained," Obama said. "It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty. That's why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that's why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."
Though Obama has tried to wield economic sanctions and international diplomatic efforts to make progress with Iran, Netanyahu claims those efforts have failed. Israeli leaders have issued a series of warnings in recent weeks suggesting that if Iran's uranium enrichment program continues it may soon stage a unilateral military strike, flouting even American wishes.
The Obama administration has urgently sought to hold off Israeli military action, which would likely result in the U.S. being pulled into a conflict and cause regionwide mayhem on the eve of American elections.
Such an attack would almost certainly lead to retaliatory Iranian missile strikes on Israeli population centers. On Sunday, Iranian leaders suggested they may strike Israeli preemptively if they feel threatened.
A few hours before Netanyahu flew to the U.S., Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at length about his vision for a "new world order" during his speech at the U.N. His speech on Wednesday happened to fall on Yom Kippur, the most sacred day on the Jewish calendar, devoted to fasting, prayer and introspection.
Netanyahu issued a statement condemning the speech soon after the fast ended. "On the day when we pray to be inscribed in the book of life a platform was given to a dictatorial regime that strives, at every opportunity, to sentence us to death," Netanyahu said.