Netanyahu accuses 'cynical' Iran of buying time to develop nuclear arms

Wednesday 25 September 2013 21.13
Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel 'will not be fooled by half-measures'
Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel 'will not be fooled by half-measures'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's UN address was "cynical" and Iran was stalling for time in order to develop nuclear arms.

"It was a cynical speech full of hypocrisy," Mr Netanyahu said after Mr Rouhani addressed the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.

"It had no practical suggestion to stop Iran's military nuclear programme and no commitment to fulfil UN Security Council decisions.

"That exactly is the Iranian plan, to talk and buy time in order to advance Iran's capability to obtain nuclear weapons."

Iran denies it is trying to develop nuclear weapons and said its programme is for peaceful purposes.

Speaking to the General Assembly last night just hours after US President Barack Obama addressed the gathering, Mr Rouhani said he was prepared to engage in "time-bound and results-oriented" nuclear talks and did not seek to increase tension with the US.

In his speech to the assembly, Mr Obama said he was determined to test Mr Rouhani's recent diplomatic gesture.

He challenged him to take concrete steps toward resolving Iran's long-running nuclear dispute with the West.

Mr Netanyahu said yesterday he would welcome a diplomatic solution that dismantled Iran's capacity to develop nuclear arm.

However, he added that Israel "will not be fooled by half-measures that merely provide a smokescreen for Iran's continual pursuit of nuclear weapons and the world should not be fooled either".

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use