Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the United Nations (UN) General Assembly this evening in a speech which is expected to focus heavily on combating Iran’s nuclear programme.
Although Netanyahu’s speech will come shortly after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calls for the Palestinian delegation to be recognised as a ‘non-member observer state’ at the General Assembly, the Israeli Prime Minister is expected to focus strongly on the threat posed by a nuclear Iran.
Netanyahu yesterday took the unusual step of issuing a letter to the Israeli public, before leaving for New York. In a clear reference to Iran, Netanyahu said that all those who threatened to wipe the Jewish people ‘off the map’ had failed while the Jewish people persevered. Netanyahu vowed in the letter that ‘As the prime minister of Israel, the state of the Jewish people, I am working in every way so that Iran will not have nuclear weapons.’
The Israeli media this morning speculates that Netanyahu will continue the theme in his speech this evening and will also outline the virtues of setting red lines over Iran’s nuclear development. Netanyahu has recently urged US President Obama to set such an ultimatum. During his speech to the General Assembly on Tuesday, Obama vowed that ‘The United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon’, but he stopped short of identifying at what point military action might become necessary.