News and Commentary

Israeli U.N. Ambassador Fires To U.N.: We Won’t Be Bound By Agreements That Ignore Threats Against Israel

"And every one of you would do the same if you were in our shoes, particularly in light of the Holocaust.”
Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

On Thursday, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, fired off against the United Nations, snapping, “We will not see ourselves bound by any agreement that does not fully address the threats against the existence of the state of Israel. And every one of you would do the same if you were in our shoes, particularly in light of the Holocaust.”

Erdan began by noting, “They were peacefully protecting, only expressing their right to free speech. Now five young Iranian men are locked up in jail, waiting to be executed. Their crime? Waging war on God.”

After naming the five men, he continued that they would “most likely join the thousands of others murdered for speaking out against the world’s most abusive regime. And yet, today’s debate will focus once again on Israel. Iran’s relentless attempts to acquire military nuclear capabilities, its terrorist proxies that continue to destabilize the region and its grave human rights violations, remain the most substantial threat to peace and security in the Middle East. These must be the focus of debates on the region.”

“In recent weeks, the IAEA confirmed that Iran has escalated its nuclear extortion and begun enriching uranium to 60%,” Erdan noted. “It is clear to everyone that there is no need for Iran to enrich uranium to that level if it id intended for civilian purposes. But Iran’s nuclear ambitions are not civilian; they are blatantly military. Any Iranian claims of wanting to develop nuclear capabilities for civilian purposes should be seen for the lies that they are. There is no civility in Iran’s nuclear program. If the regime truly wanted nuclear capabilities for civilian purposes, it could have achieved this years ago. It could have chosen a route similar to other countries. No enrichment of fissile material on their soil; only through import. But Iran refuses to accept this structure. What more does Iran have to do to prove that it is not trustworthy? How long can the international community ignore Iran’s provocative and dangerous behavior?”

After pointing out that Iran held a wide-scale military exercise dubbed “The Great Prophet 15” in which “the IRGC displayed the capabilities of multiple surface to surface ballistic missiles, some of which have the ability of delivering nuclear warheads,” Erdan said, “This, in complete violation of paragraph 3 of annex B of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. In February, Iran unveiled its new space launch vehicle. Analysis of this vehicle indicates it can carry a one-ton warhead as far as 5,000 kilometers. These capabilities cast further doubt on the regime’s claims that their space program is for peaceful purposes. What peaceful purpose requires a one-ton warhead?”

“The Ayatollahs also continue to pursue their objective of creating a radical regional hegemony by supporting an army of terrorist proxies throughout the Middle East,” he continued. “Be it the Houthis in Yemen, Shiite militias in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria and Hamas and the PIJ in the Gaza Strip, Iran’s spread its tentacles of terror across the Middle East. It supports, arms, and funds these terrorist organizations, which, under its control, murder countless people and destabilize the entire region. The only thing the Iranian regime cares about is its tyrannical, murderous objectives. It will say and do whatever its needed to reach that goal.”

He reminded his audience, “The regime is also a serial human rights violator; it prosecutes minorities and executes protesters, journalists, women, members of the LGBTQ community and thousands of others.”

“Mr. President, over the last few months, despite Iran’s continued illegal nuclear development and escalated regional violence, the international community has attempted to reengage with the murderous, genocidal regime in an effort to rejoin the JCPOA,” he stated. “We believe this would be a serious mistake. Today everyone understands that what Prime Minister Netanyahu said back in 2015, that the deal is fundamentally flawed and does not prevent threats from Iran is true. They call for an improved agreement that does not expire in under a decade and has better and more enforceable inspection mechanisms. Unfortunately, many of them believe the right way to reach such a deal is by first rejoining the JCPOA and then trying to negotiate a longer and stronger deal with the Iranians. For us, it is hard to understand. Once the international community gives up its leverage, why would Iran agree to negotiate a new deal?”

Erdan asserted, “Just like in 2015, the fanatical ayatollahs will use sanctions relief to fund their terrorist activities and continue to secretly develop their military nuclear program. All they will have to do is wait for the restrictions in the agreement to expire by 2030. Then they will have international legitimacy to have thousands of advanced centrifuges enriching uranium and then break-out time will be almost down to zero, as President Obama himself admitted. What will this Council do when this happens? Why wait until then instead of responding right now? How will you act in the face of Iran’s continued violation and possession of uranium enriched to 60%?”

“It is clear to everyone that the capabilities and knowledge that Iran is developing right now are irreversible and no agreement can roll them back. The fact that world leaders state that they are committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons may be encouraging but it simply isn’t enough. … The JCPOA did not address any of these concerns; all it did was buy time. For the moderate nations in the Middle East, this is not enough. And Israel, as you know, is in a unique position; we are the only country in the world that the Iranian regime threatens to annihilate. For Israel, Iran poses an existential threat. That is why we will not see ourselves bound by any agreement that does not fully address the threats against the existence of the state of Israel. And every one of you would do the same if you were in our shoes, particularly in light of the Holocaust.”

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