UNITED NATIONS: Israel is ready to act alone to stop Iran making a nuclear bomb, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), in a warning against rushing into deals with Tehran’s new leaders.
“Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone,” Netanyahu told a United Nations summit, in an attack on overtures made by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
Netanyahu linked Rouhani, who held a landmark conversation with United States President Barack Obama while in New York last week, to past attacks blamed on Iran.
“He fooled the world once. Now he thinks he can fool it again. You see, Rouhani thinks he can have his yellow cake and eat it too,” Netanyahu said, demanding sanctions pressure be maintained.
Last year, Netanyahu used a cartoon drawing of a bomb to illustrate his warning at the UN that Iran was close to the nuclear bomb threshold—symbolized a red line he scrawled on the diagram.
There were no similar theatrics this time, but Iran immediately warned Netanyahu against making a “miscalculation” by launching an attack. It also renewed its denial that it seeks a nuclear bomb.
“I wish I could believe Rouhani. But I don’t,” Netanyahu said.
“Iran wants to be in a position to rush forward to build nuclear bombs before the international community can detect it and much less prevent it,” he alleged.
A nuclear-armed Iran would be a bigger threat than North Korea, Netanyahu added.
“As dangerous as a nuclear-armed North Korea is, it pales in comparison to the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran,” he said.
“A nuclear-armed Iran in the Middle East wouldn’t be another North Korea—it would be another 50 North Koreas.”
North Korea, which like Iran faces wide-ranging UN sanctions over its nuclear program, is believed to have several nuclear bombs and to have shared technology with Iran.