|Thursday, September 27, 2012|
|Text: PM Netanyahu Speech to the UN General Assembly in New York 27/09/2012|
The relevant question is at what stage can we no longer stop Iran from
The red line should be drawn right here - Before Iran completes the second
PM Netanyahu's Speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York
Thank you very much Mr. President.
It's a pleasure to see the General Assembly presided by the Ambassador from
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our
Throughout our history, the Jewish people have overcome all the tyrants who
The people of Israel live on. We say in Hebrew Am Yisrael Chai, and the
The Jewish people have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years.
Defying the laws of history, we did just that. We ingathered the exiles,
We will never be uprooted again.
Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.
Every year, for over three millennia, we have come together on this day of
But at the end of Yom Kippur, we celebrate.
We celebrate the rebirth of Israel. We celebrate the heroism of our young
In Israel, we walk the same paths tread by our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and
In Israel, the past and the future find common ground.
Unfortunately, that is not the case in many other countries. For today, a
The forces of modernity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are
The forces of medievalism seek a world in which women and minorities are
These forces clash around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the
Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of
Israel is also making the world a better place: our scientists win Nobel
Recently, I was deeply moved when I visited Technion, one of our
And Israel's exceptional creativity is matched by our people's remarkable
In the past year, I lost both my father and my father-in-law. In the same
I know you're not going to hear that from speakers around this podium, but
It’s because Israel cherishes life, that Israel cherishes peace and seeks
We seek to preserve our historic ties and our historic peace treaties with
President Abbas just spoke here.
I say to him and I say to you:
We won't solve our conflict with libelous speeches at the UN. That's not the
We have to sit together, negotiate together, and reach a mutual compromise,
Israel wants to see a Middle East of progress and peace. We want to see the
Yet the medieval forces of radical Islam, whom you just saw storming the
They seek supremacy over all Muslims. They are bent on world conquest. They
Militant Islam has many branches – from the rulers of Iran with their
But despite their differences, they are all rooted in the same bitter soil
They want to drag humanity back to an age of unquestioning dogma and
I am sure of one thing. Ultimately they will fail. Ultimately, light will
We've seen that happen before.
Some five hundred years ago, the printing press helped pry a cloistered
So too, a cloistered Middle East will eventually yield to the irresistible
I think the relevant question is this: it's not whether this fanaticism will
We've seen that happen before too.
Some 70 years ago, the world saw another fanatic ideology bent on world
My friends, we cannot let that happen again.
At stake is not merely the future of my own country. At stake is the future
To understand what the world would be like with a nuclear-armed Iran, just
It makes no difference whether these lethal weapons are in the hands of the
Just look at what the Iranian regime has done up till now, without nuclear
In 2009, they brutally put down mass protests for democracy in their own
They abetted the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and continue to do so
They've turned Lebanon and Gaza into terror strongholds, embedding nearly
In the last year, they've spread their international terror networks to two
And of course, Iran's rulers repeatedly deny the Holocaust and call for
So I ask you, given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear
Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who would be safe in
There are those who believe that a nuclear-armed Iran can be deterred like
That's a very dangerous assumption.
Militant Jihadists behave very differently from secular Marxists. There were
Deterrence worked with the Soviets, because every time the Soviets faced a
But deterrence may not work with the Iranians once they get nuclear weapons.
There's a great scholar of the Middle East, Prof. Bernard Lewis, who put it
Iran's apocalyptic leaders believe that a medieval holy man will reappear in
That's not just what they believe. That's what is actually guiding their
Just listen to Ayatollah Rafsanjani who said, I quote: "The use of even one
Rafsanjani said: "It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality."
And that's coming from one of the so-called moderates of Iran.
Shockingly, some people have begun to peddle the absurd notion that a
That's like saying a nuclear-armed Al-Qaeda would usher in an era of
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I've been speaking about the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear
I spoke about it in my first term in office as Prime Minister, and then I
I speak about it now because the hour is getting late, very late. I speak
For nearly a decade, the international community has tried to stop the
That hasn't worked.
Iran uses diplomatic negotiations as a means to buy time to advance its
For over seven years, the international community has tried sanctions with
I want to thank the governments represented here that have joined in this
It's had an effect on the economy, but we must face the truth. Sanctions
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, during the last year
At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from
Red lines don't lead to war; red lines prevent war.
Look at NATO's charter: it made clear that an attack on one member country
President Kennedy set a red line during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That red
If the Western powers had drawn clear red lines during the 1930s, I believe
Clear red lines have also worked with Iran.
Earlier this year, Iran threatened to close the Straits of Hormouz. The
Red lines could be drawn in different parts of Iran's nuclear weapons
Basically, any bomb consists of explosive material and a mechanism to ignite
The simplest example is gunpowder and a fuse. That is, you light the fuse
In the case of Iran's plans to build a nuclear weapon, the gunpowder is
For Iran, amassing enough enriched uranium is far more difficult than
For a country like Iran, it takes many, many years to enrich uranium for a
In contrast, Iran could produce the nuclear detonator – the fuse – in a lot
The detonator can be made in a small workshop the size of a classroom. It
The same is true for the small facility in which they could assemble a
So in fact the only way that you can credibly prevent Iran from developing a
So, how much enriched uranium do you need for a bomb? And how close is Iran
Let me show you. I brought a diagram for you. Here's the diagram.
This is a bomb; this is a fuse.
In the case of Iran's nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be
The first stage: they have to enrich enough of low enriched uranium.
The second stage: they have to enrich enough medium enriched uranium.
And the third stage and final stage: they have to enrich enough high
Where's Iran? Iran's completed the first stage. It took them many years, but
Now they are well into the second stage. By next spring, at most by next
From there, it's only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What I told you now is not based on secret information. It's not based on
So if these are the facts, and they are, where should the red line be drawn?
The red line should be drawn right here
Before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to
Before Iran gets to a point where it's a few months away or a few weeks
Each day, that point is getting closer. That's why I speak today with such a
Some who claim that even if Iran completes the enrichment process, even if
Look, no one appreciates our intelligence agencies more than the Prime
They've saved many lives.
But they are not foolproof.
For over two years, our intelligence agencies didn't know that Iran was
Do we want to risk the security of the world on the assumption that we would
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb. The relevant
The red line must be drawn on Iran's nuclear enrichment program because
I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down.
This will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince Iran to
Two days ago, from this podium, President Obama reiterated that the threat
I very much appreciate the President's position as does everyone in my
What I have said today will help ensure that this common goal is achieved.
Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The clash between modernity and medievalism need not be a clash between
The traditions of the Jewish people go back thousands of years. They are
At the same time, the Jewish people have always looked towards the future.
We champion these principles not despite of our traditions but because of
We heed the words of the Jewish prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Jeremiah to treat
These are the timeless values of my people and these are the Jewish people's
Let us commit ourselves today to defend these values so that we can defend
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