Iran FM accuses Netanyahu of 'lying, deceiving, scaring' the world over Iran's nuclear weapons
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of lying in his rejection of Tehran’s overtures to the West as a “charm offensive.”
“We have seen nothing from Netanyahu but lies and actions to deceive and scare, and international public opinion will not let these lies go unanswered,” Zarif said in an interview with Iranian television broadcast on Tuesday, Agence France Presse reported.
Speaking from the United Nations, Zarif made his speech shortly before Netanyahu was set to address the General Assembly in New York later on Tuesday.
During Netanyahu's speech at the UN last year, he used a cartoon of a bomb to illustrate how close he believed Iran was to producing nuclear weapons.
“For 22 years, the Zionist regime has been lying by repeating endlessly that Iran will have the atomic bomb in six months,” Zarif said, AFP reported.
“After all these years, the world must understand the reality of these lies and not allow them to be repeated.”
The Israeli Prime Minister headed to the US earlier this week determined to use his UN speech and a meeting with US President Barack Obama to expose what he called Iranian "sweet talk" over nuclear weapons, AFP reported.
Israel has previously accused Iran of initiating diplomacy with the US as a means of diverting attention from its nuclear programme.
At the White House meeting, Netanyahu said it was vital that “Iran fully dismantles its military nuclear program,” according to AFP.
The Israeli official called on Obama to keep US sanctions in place throughout negotiations between Iran and the major powers over its nuclear program.
Zarif said that “Netanyahu was the most isolated man at the UN” as he prepared to give his General Assembly speech, AFP said.