NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood in front of the United Nations 70th General Assembly Oct. 1 and excoriated world leaders for their acceptance of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the United States and other western powers.
The deal, which will grant Iran the right to eventually resume the enrichment of uranium and develop its ballistic missile program after a period of seven years, is now a matter of record at the world body. It is in the United States, as well, as Republicans failed to muster the votes necessary to kill it in the Senate where, according to the Constitution, it should have been handled as a treaty.
While world leaders listened to Netanyahu, they likely heard the most important message of his speech when the Israeli prime minister said nothing for nearly a minute.
"Seventy years after the murder of six million Jews, Iran's rulers promise to destroy my country. Murder my people. And the response for this body, the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here has been absolutely nothing! Utter silence! Deafening silence," Netanyahu said just before he paused and stared at the delegates.
"Perhaps you can now understand why Israel is not joining you in celebrating this deal. If Iran's rulers were working to destroy your countries, perhaps you'd be less enthusiastic about the deal," he said.
The Israeli leader, once a military commander and a former ambassador to the UN, said the deal struck with Iran will not bring peace in the region with Iran. Instead, he said Iran had already proven it will not abide by the agreement.
"Just look at what Iran has done in the last six months alone, since the framework agreement was announced in Laussane. Iran has boosted its supply of devastating weapons to Syria. Iran sent more soldiers of its Revolutionary Guard into Syria. Iran sent thousands of Afghani and Pakastani Shiite fighters to Syria," Netanyahu said.
He also claimed Iran had supplied weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen, threatened to topple Jordan, smuggled missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and sent its Revolutionary Guard generals to the Golan Heights, "from which its operatives recently fired rockets on northern Israel."
The prime minister said the moves Iran is making in the Middle East are directed from the top of the country's theocratic administration, led by Ayatollah Khamenei.
"And as for the Supreme leader himself, a few days after the deal was announced, he released his latest book," Netanyahu said. "Here it is. It's a 400-page screed detailing his plan to destroy the State of Israel."
"Last month, Khamenei once again made his genocidal intentions clear before Iran's top clerical body, the Assembly of Experts. He spoke about Israel, home to over six million Jews. He pledged, 'there will be no Israel in 25 years.'"
For his part, Netanyahu said he refused to remain silent. Israel, he said, will not allow Iran to "break in, to sneak-in or to walk-in to the nuclear weapons club."
He also claimed Israel, no matter what resolutions were passed at the UN or what decisions were made in capitals around the world, would defend itself if it felt it necessary to do so. It will do so from its undivided capital, Jerusalem, Netanyahu said.
Most the Arab nations represented at the UN did not attend Netanyahu's speech. The full text of the speech is available here.