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Netanyahu tells UN: change or cancel Iran deal

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Israel’s Prime Minister called for the nuclear deal with Iran to be changed or cancelled in his speech to the UN General Assembly yesterday.

After being invited to the stage by Israel’s Ambassador to the UN and Vice President of the General Assembly Danny Dannon, who chaired the session, Benjamin Netanyahu gave a multifaceted speech which discussed the threat from Iran, Israel’s achievements, visits of foreign leaders to Israel and the bias of UN institutions.

Netanyahu reiterated his message that “Israel’s policy regarding the nuclear deal with Iran is very simple: Change it or cancel it”.

Explaining his reasons, Netanyahu said when the deal expires after ten years, “Iran will then be free to enrich uranium on an industrial scale, placing it on the threshold of a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons… That’s why I said two years ago that the greater danger is not that Iran will rush to a single bomb by breaking the deal, but that Iran will be able to build many bombs by keeping the deal.”

Netanyahu said that fixing the deal must involve removing this part of the agreement, known as the “sunset clause,”. He also urged the international community commit  to “penalising Iran for every violation” and “restoring massive pressure on Iran, including crippling sanctions, until Iran fully dismantles its nuclear weapons capability”.

Netanyahu also said that “we must also stop Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and roll back its growing aggression in the region,” adding that “those who threaten us with annihilation put themselves in mortal peril. Israel will defend itself with the full force of our arms and the full power of our convictions”. Netanyahu did address some comments directly to the Iranian people. He made clear that he was opposed to the Iranian regime that he said oppresses them. He even spoke in Farsi telling the Iranian people  “you are not our enemy, you are our friends”.

The Prime Minister took the opportunity to discuss Israel’s achievements, calling Israel “the innovation nation” and stressing that “Israel has provided intelligence that has prevented dozens of major terrorist attacks around the world”.

Netanyahu also mentioned the two “historic” first visits to Israel of a sitting US President and Indian Prime Minister earlier this year, saying that “when the President touched those ancient stones, he touched our hearts forever”.

Netanyahu concluded his remarks by reiterating that “Israel is committed to achieving peace with all our Arab neighbours, including the Palestinians”.