The international community should use “military force” if Iran develops nuclear weapons, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid told the United Nations on Thursday, as he reiterated his support for a “peaceful” Palestinian state.
Israel has been waging an intense diplomatic offensive in recent months to try to convince the United States and major European powers such as Britain, France and Germany not to renew the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Over the past 10 days, various officials have suggested the deal — which then-US President Donald Trump canceled in 2018 — could not be renewed until at least mid-November, a deadline that Lapid has tried to use to push the West. impose a strict approach on their discussions.
“The only way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is to put a credible military threat on the table,” Lapid said in a speech to the UN General Assembly.
Only then could a “longer and stronger treaty with them” be negotiated.
“Iran needs to make it clear that if it moves forward with its nuclear program, the world will respond with military force, not words.”
And he made no secret that Israel itself was willing to get involved if it felt threatened.
He said, we will do what needs to be done. Iran will not get nuclear weapons.
From the General Assembly podium, Lapid accused Tehran’s leadership of conducting an “orchestra of hate” against Jews and said Iranian ideologues “hate and kill Muslims who think differently, like Salman Rushdie and Mahsa Amini,” the woman who died after being arrested. . Iran’s morality policy has sparked mass protests there.
Israel, which considers Iran its main enemy, also blames Tehran for funding armed movements including the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas.
– Support for two states –
Despite existing “obstacles,” he said, “an agreement with the Palestinians on the basis of two states for two peoples is the right thing for Israel’s security, Israel’s economy and the future of our children.”
Lapid, who is campaigning for the Nov. 1 legislative election, said a vast majority of Israelis support a two-state solution, “and I’m one of them.”
“We have only one condition: a future Palestinian state will be peaceful,” said Lapid, whose UN speech was leaked to Israel and is already being criticized by his political rivals.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have stalled since 2014.
The Lapid government’s current strategy is to try to support the Palestinian economy, but not start a peace process with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, who will address the United Nations on Friday.
Israel has occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since 1967, and since 2007 has imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian territory controlled by the Islamists of Hamas.
Since 2008, Hamas and Israel have fought four wars involving Islamic Jihad, Gaza’s second largest armed Islamist movement.
“Lay down your arms and prove that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not going to take over the Palestinian state that you want to create,” Lapid said.
“Lay down your arms, there will be peace.”
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and appeared on a syndicated feed.)