October 1, 2013 - 21:42 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Israel's Prime Minister declared Tuesday, Oct 1 that his country will never allow Iran to get nuclear weapons, even if it has to act alone, and he dismissed the Iranian president's "charm offensive" as a ruse to get relief from sanctions.
Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly that Israel's future is threatened by a "nuclear-armed" Iran seeking its destruction. He urged the international community to keep up biting sanctions against Iran, saying the greater the pressure, the greater the chance for diplomacy to succeed.
Netanyahu accused Iranian President Hassan Rouhani of masterminding Iran's strategy to advance the country's nuclear weapons program and said his goal was the same as his hard-line predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf's clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheep's clothing," Netanyahu said.
He stressed that all Iranian presidents serve the same "unforgiving regime" where the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is a dictator and the real power.
He also accused Iran of lamenting the human tragedy in Syria, but at the same time directly participating in "Syria's murder and massacre of innocents." He said Iran's regime is propping up the Syrian regime that just used chemical weapons against its own people.
Israel and the West suspect Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran denies the claim. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who spoke to President Obama last week, has said he wants to seek a deal with world powers on Iran's nuclear program within months.
The phone conversation was the first top-level conversation between the two countries for more than 30 years. Rouhani, a moderate, was elected in June, replacing hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
On his return to Tehran on Saturday, Rouhani was welcomed by hundreds of supporters hailing his trip, as well as a smaller number of opponents chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel".
The Israeli government has not officially reacted to the Iranian president's remarks and his historic phone conversation with Obama. Israeli media reported that ministers had been instructed not to speak publicly about the issue, to avoid gaffes before Monday's White House meeting.
But writing on his Facebook page, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that the Iranian president was engaging in a "deceitful exercise".
Iran is due to take place in substantive negotiations on its nuclear program in Geneva on Oct 15 with a group of nations known as the P5+1, which include the U.S., Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany. Rouhani has said Iran will bring a plan to that meeting, but has not provided details.