The international community should use “military force” when Iran develops nuclear weapons, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid told the United Nations on Thursday, as he reiterated support for the creation of a “peaceful” Palestinian state.
Israel has been conducting an intense diplomatic offensive in recent months to try to persuade the United States and main European powers such as Britain, France and Germany not to renew the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
For the past 10 days, various officials have suggested the deal – which was scrapped in 2018 by US then-President Donald Trump – may not be renewed until at least mid-November, a deadline that Lapid told the West. Tried to use . Take a firm stance in the conversation.
“The only way to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is through a credible military threat,” Lapid said in a speech to the UN General Assembly.
Only then can a “long and strong deal” be negotiated with them.
“Iran needs to make it clear that if it moves forward with its nuclear program, the world will respond not with words, but with military force,” he said.
And he kept no secret that he himself would be willing to engage if Israel felt threatened.
“We will do whatever is necessary,” he said. “Iran will not get nuclear weapons.”
From the General Assembly forum, Lapid accused Tehran’s leadership of conducting an “orchestra of hate” against Jews, adding that Iranian ideologues “hated and killed differently-abled Muslims like Salman Rushdie and Mahsa Amini.” Iran’s ethics policy has sparked widespread protests over the woman who was arrested after her death.
Israel, which considers Iran its arch enemy, also blames Tehran for funding armed movements including Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas.
– Support for two states –
Despite the current “odds”, he said, “an agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two people, is the right thing for Israel’s security, for the Israeli economy and for the future of our children.”
Lapid, campaigning for the November 1 legislative elections, said most Israelis support the two-state solution, “and I am one of them.”
“Our only condition is that a future Palestinian state is peaceful,” said Lapid, whose UN speech was leaked in Israel and was already being criticized by his political rivals.
Israel-Palestinian peace talks have been stalled since 2014.
The current strategy of the Lapid government is to try to support the Palestinian economy but without starting the peace process with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, who is due to address the United Nations on Friday.
Israel has occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since 1967, and since 2007 imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian territory controlled by Islamists from Hamas.
Since 2008, Hamas and Israel have waged four wars in which Islamic Jihad, the second largest armed Islamic movement in Gaza, has also participated.
“Put down your arms and prove that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not going to take over the Palestinian state you want to create,” Lapid said.
“Put down your arms, and there will be peace.”
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)