JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he would speak out about the dangers of Iran’s nuclear programme in an address next month to the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
It was not immediately known if Netanyahu would meet U.S. President Barack Obama during his September 27-30 visit. The two leaders last met in March at the White House.
In a statement, Netanyahu said that at the assembly’s annual general debate he would “tell the nations of the world in a clear voice the truth about the terror regime of Iran which represents the greatest threat to world peace”.
Recent rhetoric by Israeli leaders cautioning that time is running out to stop what they say is an Iranian quest for nuclear weapons has raised international concern over possible Israeli military action. The United States has urged Israel to give diplomacy and international sanctions more time to work.
Israel is widely assumed to be the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, and Iran insists its atomic work is solely for peaceful purposes, which Tehran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated at a conference on Thursday.
Israel strongly condemned Khamenei’s strong criticism of the Jewish state uttered at the same meeting of the Non-Alignment Movement, in which he called Israelis “ferocious Zionist wolves” in how they treat the Palestinians.
“Today in Teheran we once again heard hatred and vilification for the Jewish state. The Iranian regime calls for the annihilation of Israel, it oppresses its own citizens, its part of the murder going on in Syria and its building an atomic bomb,” Regev told reporters.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman slammed the anti-Israeli rhetoric in Tehran as “a march of folly such as we have not seen since the 1930s”, alluding to anti-Semitic propaganda by the Nazis who killed six million Jews during World War Two.
(Writing by Jeffrey Heller and Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Michael Roddy)