- Benjamin Netanyahu has called on the world to change or cancel the country's nuclear deal while speaking at the U.N.
- The Israeli leader made the comments just hours after his first public meeting with Egypt's president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
- The meeting came following months of increasingly warm relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors
- However, there is little sign of aa slowdown in West Bank settlement building or peace efforts with the Palestinian people
A war of words has broken out between Tel Aviv and Tehran after Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu urged the world to change or cancel the country’s nuclear deal.
The news marks the latest step in an ongoing regional muscle flex which has seen the Gulf states cast aside the Palestinian plight to join forces with Israel against Iran and its allies.
In a blistering attack, Netanyahu told U.N. delegates in New York that Iran faces “no fiercer enemy” than the Zionist state.
“Israel’s policy regarding the nuclear deal with Iran is very simple: Change it or cancel it, fix it or nix it,” he said.
“Nixing the deal means restoring massive pressure on Iran, including crippling sanctions, until Iran fully dismantles its nuclear weapons capability. Fixing the deal requires many things, among them inspecting military and any other site that is suspect, and penalizing Iran for every violation. But above all, fixing the deal means getting rid of the sunset clause,” he added.
The controversial clause means that some of the 2015 deal’s restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will expire over time.
The Israeli leader made the comments just hours after Iran's Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi warned that Israel would likely not exist in 25 years if it remains on its current geopolitical path.
Iran has grown increasingly cozy with its Arab neighbors including Saudi Arabia and Egypt in recent times, a development which likely stems from a mutual ambition to curb Iran’s influence in the region.
While many Arab states pay lip service to the Palestinian plight, many of the region’s major players are becoming increasingly close to Tel Aviv despite unprecedented settlement expansion and human rights violations against those in the occupied territories.
Netanyahu’s speech made just one mention to achieving a peace deal between Israel and Palestine while praising U.S. President Donald Trump for his ‘commitment to stand by Israel’s side’ when the pair discussed the situation ahead of yesterday’s address.
“The remarkable alliance between the United States and Israel has never been stronger, never been deeper,” he added.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was also pictured smiling and laughing with Netanyahu as the two discussed the issue during their first ever public meeting on Monday.
Up to 400,000 people now live in West Bank settlements.
Under international law, settlements are considered illegal, and much of the wider international community considers them an obstacle to the two-state solution.
Despite international criticism, the Israeli government has continued settlement construction on Palestinian land.
The country also stands accused of widespread human rights abuses and the extrajudicial killings of those who speak out against the occupation.
Meanwhile, the Israeli leader also hinted at further attacks on Syrian soil, where Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah are supporting the regime of Bashar Al-Assad.
Israel shot down a drone over the occupied Golan Heights hours earlier and said it was probably an Iranian-built aircraft on a reconnaissance mission for the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group.
“We will act to prevent Iran from producing deadly weapons in Syria or in Lebanon for use against us. And we will act to prevent Iran from opening new terror fronts against Israel along our northern border. As long as Iran’s regime seeks the destruction of Israel, Iran will face no fiercer enemy than Israel,” Netanyahu added.
Following Netanyahu’s address, Iran's First Counsellor and Alternative Representative to the United Nations Hossein Maleki accused the Israeli leader of spreading lies and branded the Zionist state as the “greatest example of state terrorism” on the planet.
He told the General Assembly: “Instead of spreading lies, blaming others, and trying to deceive the public opinion, the Israeli representative should have explained to the General Assembly why the regime, during its short life, has attacked all of its neighboring countries without exception, and has even mounted attacks on countries outside the region by waging over 15 wars.“
“He should have explained instead why this regime, as the greatest example of state terrorism, continues its military and arms support to ISIL terrorists, and refuses to sign up to tens of General Assembly resolutions or some 100 Security Council resolutions,” Maleki added.
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