Iran: Ebrahim Raisi criticises US sanctions in UN address
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In his first speech since being elected as Israeli PM, Mr Bennett said Iran was broadening its sphere of influence in West Asia and urged international partners to concentrate more efforts on allowing Iran to use a “nuclear umbrella” to dominate the region. Quoting Israel’s continuing notion of feeling threatened, the PM also pointed out that if needed, Israel will act on its own against Iran.
Using the podium at the UN General Assembly he said: “Iran’s nuclear programme has hit a watershed moment, and so has our tolerance. Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning…. Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”
He went on to say: “Iran’s nuclear weapons programme is at a critical point. All red lines have been crossed.”
The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations snubbed Mr Bennett’s speech as “lies”.
In a response to the claims made by Bennett, Iran’s ambassador to the UN also took to Twitter to clarify Iran’s view.
Majid Takht Ravanchi said “Iran phobia runs rampant at UN. The Israeli regime PM’s speech was full of lies on Iran. That regime is in no position to discuss our peaceful programme when it has hundreds of nuclear warheads. And his silence on Palestine illustrates a determination to deprive Palestinian rights.”
With Iran being a founding signatory member of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, also known as the NPT since its inception in 1968, Tehran argues that it abides by the accord aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.
Israel, which has never officially declared its nuclear arsenal, believed to be over 300 warheads strong, are not members of the NPT.
Tension has mounted over the last 2 years in West Asia following the assassination of top Iranian Commander, Qasem Soleimani by the USA in an attack on his convoy in Baghdad.
Israel has also been accused of several high profile assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, with the most recent being an elaborate remote-controlled machine-gun killing of Mohsen Fakrizadeh.
Iran has also seen multiple incidents occur within its nuclear facilities, many of which are believed to be the work of the Israeli foreign intelligence services, Mossad.
This was highlighted by former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen in a rare admission of hostile acts against Iran.
A series of tit-for-tat incidents have occurred in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea between Iran and Israel in what is being described as a shadow war as a result.
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Iran for its part has never started an act of aggression against any nation, having itself been attacked by the Western-backed Saddam regime in an eight-year-long war costing over 1 million lives.
Many see the ongoing Israeli lobbying against Iran as an attempt to block or dissuade the United States from returning to the Iran nuclear deal, more officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.
Current US President, Joe Biden has repeatedly stated his desire to reverse the decision made by Donald Trump to leave the agreement.
The JCPOA would bring about a lifting of harsh US imposed sanctions on Iran which have seen the economy spiral, as well as seeing a block on humanitarian grounds, with Iran unable to pay foreign companies for vital COVID-19 vaccines due to sanctions.
With Israel ramping up pressure on Iran, what remains to be seen is whether Israel’s ongoing rhetoric is nothing more than a ploy designed to derail the nuclear talks, which will see the P5+1 nations back on diplomatic terms with Tehran, leaving Tel Aviv on the back-burner.
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