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At U.N., Israeli PM Bennett says Iran has crossed all nuclear ‘red lines’ By Reuters


© Reuters. Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett addresses the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, at the U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 27, 2021. John Minchillo/Pool via REUTERS


By Michelle Nichols, Matt Spetalnick and Stephen Farrell

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that Iran had crossed “all red lines” in its nuclear program and vowed that Israel would not allow Tehran to acquire a nuclear weapon.

Bennett made his first address to the United Nations General Assembly. He stated that Iran wanted to control the Middle East and called for a greater international collaboration to stop Iran’s nuclear activities.

Bennett also suggested that Israel could act against Iran on its own, as it has threatened to do in the past.

We have lost our patience with Iran’s nuclear program. Bennett explained that “words don’t stop centrifuges turning.” Israel will not permit Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

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Bennett is a far-right politician and ended Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year tenure as Prime Minister in June. He wants U.S. President Joe Biden’s tougher stance towards Iran, Israel’s arch-foe. Bennett opposes any attempt by the U.S. to revive 2015 Iran nuclear agreement that Donald Trump’s predecessor in the White House abandoned in 2018.

Washington waits for Ebrahim Rashii to make a decision. The U.S. and Iran talks have been stalled in Vienna.

Bennett spoke less in combative tones before the United Nations. Netanyahu was more reliant on visual aids and props to make his claims against Iran. Critics dubbed this tactic as political stunts.

Bennett is as determined to keep Iran (Israel regards as an existential threat) from building nuclear weapons as Netanyahu. Iran repeatedly denies that it wants a bomb.

“Iran is near a crucial point in its nuclear weapons program. Bennett stated that all red lines were crossed and inspections have been ignored. They’re getting away.

He called for international intervention. Bennett stated, “If you put your heads together, if you’re serious about ending it, and if our resources are used, we can triumph.

Bennett also attacked Raisi accusing him over years of violating human rights. Raisi is currently under U.S. targeted sanctions.


Bennett made not a single direct mention of the Palestinians in his remarks, except to accuse Iran of backing anti-Israel militant groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Bennett is a member of an ideologically diverse coalition and opposes Palestinian statehood.

In his U.N. speech, Biden stated renewed U.S. support of a two state solution after Trump disassociated himself from this longstanding U.S. policy principle, while stating that Israel and Palestine were still far from reaching it.

Biden’s aides are mindful that U.S. pressure for a resumption of long-dormant peace talks or major Israeli concessions could destabilize the fragile Israeli coalition.

The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abubas, speaking via videolink to the General Assembly on Friday, accused Israel of trying to destroy the two-state resolution. He said that actions could cause Palestinians demand equal rights in a binational state, which would include Israel, Gaza, and the occupied West Bank.

Bennett focused instead on what he touted as the benefits of Israel’s landmark normalization agreements brokered by the Trump administration last year with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco. He said, “More is yet to come.”

Israel has lauded the new diplomatic relations it established with its Gulf neighbours as having contributed to establishing a regional fortress against Iran.

Palestinian officials felt betrayed that their Arab Arab brothers had reached deals with Israel without first demanding the creation of a Palestinian State.