Naftali Bennett reiterated his predecessor’s claims about Iran’s nuclear program threats. Iran rejected the claims as “full of lies”.
Israeli PM claims that Iran has breached ” the red lines,” in its pursuit of the nuclear program. Naftali Bennett also pledged that Tel Aviv would do its best to forbid Tehran in attaining nuclear armament.
The fresh PM also declared that Iran intended to subjugate the region using a “nuclear umbrella”. Naftali Bennett made his first speech at the UN General Assembly on Monday. He called for a more coordinated attempts to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Bennett also suggested the possibility of Israel‘s acting unilaterally against Tehran, as he had previously warned. He asserted that Iran’s nuclear capability, “like our tolerance”, has reached a tipping point. He emphasized that mere words and remarks will not stop Iranian centrifuges from working. “Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon,” Bennett further indicated.
Bennett’s statement was dismissed as “full of lies” by the United Nations envoy for Iran, who has denied developing a nuclear weapon. Bennett, a far-right leader who rejects Palestinian independence, sparked outrage among Palestinians when he forgot to acknowledge the decades-long struggle between Israel and Palestine.
Naftali Bennett succeeded his predecessor in Israeli administration leadership three months ago after a 12-year tenure of Benjamin Netanyahu. Of his main policies similar to his predecessor is his calls for taking a tougher position against Iran, a request mainly addressed towards Washington. He also criticizes attempts by the United States to resurrect the JCPOA, a nuclear deal with Iran, which has been a main Biden agenda during the past months.
The negotiations started early in 2021 in Vienna, only coming to a halt with the Iranian election and expectations for the new president Ebrahim Raisi to take the office.
Bennett at the UN General Assembly
Bennett tries to use a more moderate stance at the UN than his predecessor. Netanyahu frequently used props to illustrate his claims against Iran, which detractors dismissed as political theatrics.
The new prime minister, on the other hand, has proved as strident as Netanyahu in threatening to do everything it takes to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Israel regards a potential Iranian nuclear capability as a grave threat.
“Iran’s nuclear weapons program is at a critical point. All red lines have been crossed. If we put our heads to it, if we’re serious about stopping it, if we use our resourcefulness, we can prevail,” Bennett said in his first address at the UNGA.
During Bennett’s visit to Washington last month, US president emphasized that “diplomacy” is at the top of his strategy about Iran. He further noted that if talks miss to reach an achievement, he would be willing to pursue other, unknown alternatives.
Iran’s UN envoy dubbed Bennett’s assertions “baseless” and claimed he was attempting to portray Israel as a victim in a misleading manner. “His malicious goal is clear: to cover up all the Israeli regime’s expansionist and destabilizing policies and its criminal behavior in the region during the past seven decades,” part of the statement read.
Palestine in Negligence
Bennett made no reference to the Palestinians in any part of his speech, other than to blame Iran for supporting anti-Israel groups like Hamas. The new prime minister was previously the head of a major settlement movement in the West Bank.
“Deliberately omitting a reference to Palestine reflects his fear of it, and once again proves to the international community that he is not and will not be a partner for Palestinians in the peace and negotiation process,” Reuters said quoting from Palestinian Foreign Minister about Bennett and his speech at the UN.
In a backtrack to Trump’s distance from the long-standing cornerstone of US policy about two-state solution, Biden reaffirmed fresh US support for the project in his UN speech last week. Biden’s remarks signal a clear divergence from its Middle East ally. Bennet’s failure to address Palestinian issue in his speech may have been partly due to a fear of further alienation from long-time partners.