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Iran says that Obama’s recent statements have harmed prospects for peace.

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Netanyahu

(Photo: Nicholas Kamm, AFP/Getty Images)

USA Today

12:05 a.m. EDT October 2, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned United Nations delegates Tuesday that to avoid a military conflict they must stand firm in putting pressure on Iran to open up its nuclear program to inspection.

“Iran wants to be in position to rush forward and build nuclear bombs before the world can prevent it,” Netanyahu said, warning that recent gestures from Iran toward peace are a “ruse” to lull the West into backing off.

He said the “one big problem” that stands in the way of Iran’s aims are the economic sanctions that the West has imposed to get Iran to prove its claim the its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. He warned that the sanctions must remain and be toughened if Iran is to be stopped.

“A nuclear armed Iran would have a choke-hold on the world’s main energy supplies, it would trigger nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East,” he said. “It would make the specter of nuclear terrorism a clear and present danger.”

To prevent war, the world community should not agree to “a partial deal” that lifts sanctions that took years to implement in return for cosmetic changes that Iran could reverse in weeks, Netanyahu said.

“Lift the sanctions only when Iran fully dismantles its nuclear weapons program,” he said. “The international community has Iran on the ropes. If you want to knock out Iran’s nuclear weapons program peacefully, don’t let up the pressure.”

And if talks fail, Netanyahu left little doubt that Israel will take matters into its own hands.

“Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons,” he said. “If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.”

His speech comes after Iranian President Hasan Rouhani brought a new message of friendliness during a four-day trip to the United Nations in New York last week, a trip that ended with a 15-minute phone call with President Obama. It was the first phone call between two leaders from the U.S. and Iran in three decades.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other world powers will participate in talks with Iran over curtailing its nuclear program later this month.

Netanyahu attempted to rebut the image of Rouhani as an independent Iranian leader seeking peace and friendship with the West. It’s true the new Iranian leader does not sound like his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Netanyahu said.

“The only difference between them is this: Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheeps clothing, a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community.”

Rouhani “is a loyal servant of the regime,” which approved his candidacy and rejected hundreds of others, Netanyahu said.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Iranian television that Netanyahu’s warnings that Iran’s nuclear ambitions aim at building a bomb for Israel’s destruction are lies and show Netanyahu is the “most isolated man in the U.N.”

“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 on Iranian television, according to an AFP report.

Netanyahu said Rouhani’s led Iran’s Supreme National Security Council from 1989 through 2003, while his country’s “henchmen” gunned down opposition leaders in a Berlin restaurant, murdered 85 people at the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, and killed 19 American soldiers by blowing up the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, Netanyahu said. U.S. and Argentinian investigators have attributed those attacks to the Iranian-backed Shiite militia Hezbollah nand to members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Rouhani was also Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005, when he “masterminded” a strategy that “enabled Iran to advance its nuclear weapons program behind a smokescreen of diplomatic engagement and very soothing rhetoric,” Netanyahu said.

Though Rouhani spoke of the “human tragedy in Syria,” Iran is helping Syrian president Bashar Assad murder of tens of thousands of Syrian citizens, Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu also referred to Rouhani’s statements that Iran has never chosen deceit and secrecy, but in 2002 Iran was caught secretly building a nuclear facility in Natanz and in 2009 it was caught building a huge nuclear enrichment facility under a mountain near Qoms.

“The facts are that Iran’s savage record flatly contradicts Rohani’s soothing rhetoric,” he said.

Netanyahu, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. from 1984 to 1988, said that oil-rich Iran has no reason to pursue nuclear technology other than to build a bomb, as Rouhani claimed, and he listed reasons to think that it is.

“Underground nuclear facilities, heavy water reactors, advanced centrifuges. ICBMs. It’s not that it’s hard to find evidence Iran has a nuclear weapons program,’ Netanyahu said. “It’s hard to find evidence Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program.”

Netanyahu told Obama during a visit to the White House Monday that despite the change in tone, “Iran is committed to Israel’s destruction.”

Benjamin Netanyahu: nuclear-armed Iran ‘as dangerous as 50 North Koreas’

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

telegraph.co.uk

By Robert Tait, Jerusalem and David Blair

7:32PM BST 01 Oct 2013

A nuclear-armed Iran would be as dangerous as “50 North Koreas” and the country’s new president is trying to “fool the world”, Benjamin Netanyahu has declared.

Delivering a trenchant address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Israeli prime minister rounded on President Hassan Rouhani of Iran. The Islamic Republic’s new leader has offered “peace and friendship” to America and held out the prospect of settling the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

But Mr Netanyahu recalled how North Korea agreed in 2005 to freeze its nuclear programme. “A year later, North Korea exploded its first nuclear weapons device,” he said. “Yet as dangerous as a nuclear-armed North Korea is, it pales in comparison to the danger posed by a nuclear-armed Iran.”

An Iran with nuclear weapons would disrupt global energy supplies and turn the “most unstable part of the planet into a nuclear tinderbox” by triggering a regional arms race, predicted Mr Netanyahu. “A nuclear-armed Iran in the Middle East would not be another North Korea. It would be another 50 North Koreas.”

Benjamin Netanyahu addressing the UN in New York Tuesday Photo: SETH WENIG/AP

The “lesson of history” was that Iran’s rhetorical threats against Israel and the West should be taken seriously. “This fanatic regime must not be allowed to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” he added

Any solution must compel Iran to stop enriching uranium, export its entire stockpile of this material, and dismantle all the most important nuclear facilities, demanded Mr Netanyahu. He cautioned against allowing Iran to retain even a “residual” capacity to enrich uranium, a highly sensitive process that could be used to make fuel for nuclear power stations – which Tehran says is the only goal – or the core of a nuclear weapon.

“Israel will never acquiesce to nuclear arms in the hands of a rogue regime which repeatedly threatens to wipe us off the map. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone. But, in standing alone, Israel will know that it is defending many many others,” said Mr Netanyahu.

He recalled how Iranian-sponsored terrorists destroyed a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994, killing 85 people, and Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 American soldiers in 1996. “Are we to believe that Rouhani, the national security adviser of Iran at the time, knew nothing about these attacks?” asked Mr Netanyahu. “Of course he did.

“Facts are stubborn things: the facts are that Iran’s savage record contradicts Rouhani’s soothing words.”

Recalling how Mr Rouhani negotiated with the West while expanding Iran’s nuclear facilities a decade ago, Mr Netanyahu said: “He fooled the world once, now he thinks he can fool it again.”

Khodadad Seifi, a deputy ambassador at Iran’s UN mission, dismissed Mr Netanyahu’s remarks as “inflammatory” and “sabre rattling”.

Western diplomats privately believe that Mr Netanyahu’s definition of an acceptable agreement with Iran is wholly unrealistic. One described his conditions as an “unconditional surrender”, not a negotiated settlement.

Michael Herzog, a former chief of staff to the Israeli defence minister, described Mr Netanyahu’s conditions as “maximalist”. While Israel could not be expected to be the first to volunteer a compromise, Mr Herzog added: “I think he knows that if there is going to be a deal, it cannot be on these maximalist conditions.” Instead, he said that Israel could live with an agreement whereby Iran exported most of its enriched uranium, allowed tougher international inspections, shut down some key plants, but kept a “symbolic” enrichment capacity – provided that all the uranium was shipped overseas after being processed.

Netanyahu to Obama: Iran Must Take Meaningful Actions

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Iran’s conciliatory remarks have to be matched by “transparent, verifiable, meaningful actions,” Netanyahu tells President Obama.

israelnationalnews

By Elad Benari

First Publish: 10/1/2013, 12:16 AM

Iran’s recent conciliatory remarks have to be matched by “transparent, verifiable, meaningful actions,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday.

“Iran is committed to Israel’s destruction, so for Israel, the ultimate test of a future agreement with Iran is whether or not Iran dismantles its military nuclear program,” Netanyahu said after his meeting with the President.

“In this regard, I want to express my appreciation to you for the enormous work that’s been done to have a sanctions regime in place to thwart Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons,” he added. “I believe that it’s the combinationof a credible military threat and the pressure of those sanctions that have brought Iran to the negotiating table.”

“I also believe that if diplomacy is to work, those pressures must be kept in place,” Netanyahu told Obama. “And I think they should not be lessened until there is verifiable success. And in fact, it is Israel’s firm belief that if Iran continues to advance its nuclear program during negotiations, the sanctions should be strengthened…I think, is still the only formula that can get a peaceful resolution of this problem.”

Obama said earlier that Washington would not ease up on its sanctions against Iran unless and until Tehran halted its nuclear arms program.

During the meeting between the two leaders, the Prime Minister discussed Iran’s advanced nuclear work, presenting documentation showing that Iran was farther along in its nuclear development than international inspectors suspect.

Netanyahu also presented Obama with the key points he intends to make in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. Among other things, Netanyahu is expected to say that he does not rule out diplomatic dialogue with new Iranian President, provided that the talks will establish real results.

Obama said that it was clear that, despite Rouhani’s “charm offensive,” the U.S. would not take Iran at its word, and expected to see actions – specifically a reduction in the level of uranium enrichment as demanded by the international community – that can be verified.

The U.S., he said, would negotiate with Iran “with its eyes wide open,” and consult closely with Israel on the developments. He stressed that the U.S. was not ruling out any option on Iran, including the military option.

Netanyahu can’t hope to regain Israel’s voice in headlong US-Russian-Iranian nuclear diplomacy

Monday, September 30th, 2013

DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis September 30, 2013, 11:09 AM (IDT)

An earlier encounter

An earlier encounter

Although a face to face between prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama is obviously worthwhile for both countries, the prime minister need not expect to deflect the president from his pursuit of a nuclear deal with Tehran when they meet Monday, Sept. 30. At best, he will come away with soothing assurances that any new intelligence he presents will be seriously looked into. But he can’t hope for real substance for two reasons:

1. Obama can no longer turn away from the path he has set himself, because he is driven by the ambition to prove that international problems can be solved without military force and solely by good will, negotiations and diplomacy.

2.  After convincing Russian President Vladimir Putin that he means what he says and is not planning to repeat his “mistaken” US military involvement in the 2011 Libyan civil war, Obama removed a major obstacle in the way of a US-Russian deal on Syria’s chemical weapons.
It is now the turn for Washington, Moscow and Tehran to continue the process with a parallel consensual deal on Iran’s nuclear program.

From Tehran, the US and Russia might be seen to be preparing to impose a nuclear settlement on Iran in the same way as they did for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons. However, if that is what is contemplated, Obama and Putin will soon find Tehran is not Damascus, and the ayatollah in Tehran is a completely different proposition from his Syrian ally.

The wily supreme leader Ali Khamenei in fact sees his chance of turning the situation around to the Islamic Republic’s advantage. He grasps that the American and Russian leaders are in a hurry to reap the results of the Obama administration’s decision to forswear a military option for bringing Tehran round. Their headlong quest for quick results gives Tehran the leverage for extracting previously withheld concessions on its nuclear program, such as extreme flexibility on its enriched uranium production and stocks.

Netanyahu may hear Obama promising to stand by his demand that Iran stop enriching uranium and export the bulk of its stocks, or surrender it for destruction like Syria’s chemical weapons. But he will also discover that Obama and Putin are running ahead together at breakneck speed after dropping Israel by the wayside.  And the negotiations with Iran behind the scenes – and continuing in Geneva on Oct. 15 with the five Security Council powers and Germany – are more than likely to produce a compromise unacceptable to Israel.

Iran and Russia will have to make some concessions for a deal. But so too will the United States, and the uranium enrichment issue will loom large in the way of an agreement unless Washington gives way on that point. Obama has already covered much of this ground in secret contacts with Tehran.

The tempo of the negotiations, dictated by Obama and Putin, will make it easy to blur facts and the present minor concessions as major achievements.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are already smoothing the way for the understandings to come with messages that fit neatly into world media headlines. Sunday, Kerry echoed President Rouhani’s of a nuclear accord achievable in months. At the same time, mindful of the Obama-Netanyahu meeting Monday, the US Secretary said in a TV interview, “A bad deal is worse than no deal,” while US Ambassador Dan Shapiro assured Israelis in a radio interview Monday morning “The US and Israel share the same goals – preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Meanwhile, last month’s buzz phrase for the Syrian accord, which called for “a credible military option” to underpin the understanding, has been quietly mothballed in both the Syrian and Iranian WMD context.

Netanyahu heads to U.S. to challenge Iran’s charm offensive

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

The Israeli PM will meet U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday. (File photo: AFP)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Al Arabiya

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has left for New York early Sunday in a bid to challenge Iran’s diplomatic charm blitz last week.

“I intend to tell the truth in the face of the sweet talk and charm offensive of Iran” Israeli public radio quoted him as saying as he boarded the plane at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, Agence France Presse reported.

“Telling the truth at this time is essential for world peace and security and, of course, for Israel’s security,” he was quoted as saying by the agency.

Netanyahu earlier this week described Iranian President Hassan Rowhani’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly as “cynical” and “full of hypocrisy.”

The Israeli PM will meet U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday then return to New York to address the General Assembly on Tuesday, AFP reported.

Netanyahu along Western countries suspect that Iran’s nuclear program is designed to build a nuclear weapon.

Iran denies the charge and in his U.N. address Rowhani said that “nuclear weapons… have no place in Iran’s security and defence doctrine.”

Rowhani had a 15-minute telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday, the first contact between leaders of the two countries in more than three decades.

Israeli media said that Netanyahu had instructed his ministers and senior officials not to comment on the call, according to AFP.

(With AFP)

Iranian Agent Arrested in Israel

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Mansouri in Tel Aviv

Mansouri in Tel Aviv
Shin Bet spokesperson’s office

israelnationalnews

Arrested agent had photographs of United States embassies in Israel.

By Maayana Miskin

First Publish: 9/29/2013, 10:46 AM

An Iranian agent was arrested inIsrael on September 11. The arrest was under a gag order for several days, but has now been cleared for publication.

The detainee is a 55-year-old Belgian citizen who goes by the name Alex Mans. He was arrested by the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, and the Israel Police as he attempted to leave the country.

The suspect also has Iranian citizenship, and his original name was Ali Mansouri. He lived in Iran until 1980, and then moved to Turkey, where he lived until 1997. Since 2007, he traveled between Iran, Turkey and Belgium, and married an Iranian citizen.

A Shin Bet investigation revealed that he was sent to Israel by Iran’s intelligence services. He has confessed to working on behalf of Iran during his visits to Israel.

Contacted by Iranian intelligence years ago, he first received an explicit offer to spy on Israel on Iran’s behalf in early 2012. Mansouri was working with a “special operations unit of the Revolutionary Guards responsible for numerous terrorist attacks around the world,” Shin Bet sources said.

Mans had made two previous trips to Israel, one in July 2012, and one in January 2013. Both visits are believed to have been conducted with guidance from his Iranian handlers. He was promised $1 million for his work.

He presented his visits as business trips, and met with businesspeople in Tel Aviv in an attempt to forge long-term business ties in the country. In the meetings with Israeli businesspeople, Mans/Mansouri presented himself as a Belgian businessman selling windows.

He was discovered to have pictures of several sites in Israel, including the building of the United States embassy in Tel Aviv.


Mansouri ‘s photo of USA Embassy

Mansouri ‘s photo of Ben Gurion Airport

Mansouri ‘s photo of USA Embassy

Ali Mansouri in Tel Aviv

 

 

‘Iran already has a nuclear bomb,’ Israeli paper claims

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Unnamed government analysts quoted by Maariv say Tehran has crossed all red lines and is already in possession of at least one nuclear weapon

A worker outside the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran (photo credit: AP/Vahid Salemi)

A worker outside the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran (photo credit: AP/Vahid Salemi)

Times of Israel

BY JOSHUA DAVIDOVICH September 27, 2013, 1:19 pm
Some Israeli government analysts believe Iran already has at least one nuclear bomb, an Israeli journalist wrote in an article published Friday.
Shalom Yerushalmi, writing in the national daily Maariv, said that “government security sources up to date on development in Iran,” told him recently that Tehran has crossed all points of no return and already has its first nuclear weapon, and maybe more.

The report marks the first time a government official has been quoted saying Iran already has a nuclear weapon. No sources in the piece were named.

The information, if true, would mark a major shift in international relations and would be a game changer in terms of a regional power balance.

“It’s too late for Israel [to prevent an Iranian bomb]. Iran has crossed all the borders and all the constraints, and it has a first nuclear bomb in its possession, and maybe more than that,” Yerushalmi writes, basing himself on what he says is the assessment he heard this week from state security sources. ”We are facing a historic change in the strategic balance of forces in the region.”

He then quotes a source who he says is deeply familiar with what he calls the relentless war against the Iranians. “This is no longer about how to prevent a bomb,” the source is quoted saying, “but about how to prevent its being launched, and what to do if and when.”

Yerushalmi, still basing himself on the anonymous security sources’ assessment, goes on to compare the current behavior of Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei, and new President Hasan Rouhani, in their interactions with the West, to a soccer coach at the end of a hard-fought match which he knows he has now won. The Iranian leadership is behaving with the air of “those who have achieved their target, and therefore can today afford to be more generous and to offer new (self-serving) messages.” The Iranian leadership can afford to be friendlier, he writes, “because victory has been secured.”

Maariv led its Friday paper with a photograph of a smiling Rouhani, alongside the headline, “What’s hiding behind the smile,” and a sub-headline quoting the security sources saying Iran now has “at least one bomb.” It then adds that most in the security establishment, however, still believe that this “nightmare scenario has not yet been realized.”

While most Western countries believe Iran’s nuclear program is intended for military purposes, officials in Israel, the US and elsewhere say Tehran has yet to “break out” toward a bomb, a process that could take over a year.

Iran, which on Thursday agreed to renewed talks with world powers on curbing its nuclear program, says its program is for peaceful purposes.

On Friday, Iranian and UN officials met to discuss whether to resume inspections meant to determine whether Tehran worked on atomic arms, in a test of pledges by Iran’s new president to reduce nuclear tensions.

Iranian envoy Reza Najafi said in Vienna that it would be unrealistic to expect that “in just one day of meeting we can solve our problems.”

Herman Nackaerts of the International Atomic Energy Agency said only that he hoped the meeting could “intensify the dialogue.”

The UN agency wants access to a site it suspects was used to test conventional explosive triggers meant to set off a nuclear blast.

A report released last month by the IAEA said that while Iran was testing new centrifuges, which could help it eventually create a nuclear weapon, its uranium stockpile was still below the amount needed for a bomb.

“It is unlikely, at this point, that Iran could dash toward further enrichment to weapons-grade without the IAEA detecting Tehran’s activities,”Reuters quoted the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based advocacy and research group.

Israel sees an Iranian nuclear weapon as an existential threat, and Jerusalem has campaigned vigorously around the world for heavy sanctions to be placed on Iran, with a threat of military action should those fail to stop the nuclear program.

Next week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to deliver a speech at the United Nations during which he is expected to press for maintaining pressure on Iran despite a recent easing of tensions between Tehran and the West. In comments Tuesday, Netanyahu urged the world not to be “fooled” by Iran’s newly moderate rhetoric, which he said was a “smokescreen” to obscure its continued drive toward nuclear weapons.

“Israel would welcome a genuine diplomatic solution that truly dismantles Iran’s capacity to develop nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “But we will not be fooled by half-measures that merely provide a smokescreen for Iran’s continual pursuit of nuclear weapons. And the world should not be fooled either.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Also Read:

The Washington Times
KAHLILI: Iran already has nuclear weapons
By: Reza Kahlili / October 27, 2011

Israel mocks Iran leader as salesman bullish on nukes

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani wipes his brow as he speaks at the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2013 at the UN headquarters in New York

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani wipes his brow as he speaks at the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2013 at the UN headquarters in New York

25 SEPTEMBER 2013

AFPIsrael derided Iran’s new president as an expert salesman who is bullish on nuclear proliferation in a bitingly sarcastic tweet sent Wednesday.

It came from the Israeli Embassy in Washington and poses the question of what President Hassan Rouhani’s LinkedIn page might look like.

The tweet came out just as the United States and Iran are showing signs of a thaw in long-antagonistic relations and a day after their presidents made hopeful sounding remarks at the UN General Assembly in New York on the Iranian nuclear standoff.

The spoof of the Iranian president’s LinkedIn page has him describing himself thusly: “I’m a career politician, expert public relations professional, leading international salesman and longtime advocate of nuclear proliferation.”

Western countries suspect that Iran’s nuclear program is designed to build a nuclear weapon, but Iran says it is for civilian purposes.

The mock LinkedIn page goes on to quote Rouhani as saying of himself: “Since my election as President of Iran in 2013, I developed and have executed an unprecedented PR campaign for the government of Iran.”

“Through a series of statements, tweets, op-eds and smiles I have rebranded the human rights-suppressing, Ayatollah-led regime as moderate and a source of hope among the international community. In my role, I represent and am the public facing figure of Supreme leader Ayatollah Khameini,” it added.

Further up on the page, in a section on Rouhani’s “skills and expertise,” these are said to include international sales, deceptive trade practises, nuclear weapons, military justice, illusion, weapons of mass destruction and ballistics.

Netanyahu blasts Rowhani’s U.N. speech as ‘full of hypocrisy’

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. (Reuters)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Al Arabiya

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday criticized Iranian President Hassan Rowhani’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly, describing it as “cynical” and “full of hypocrisy.”

The comments came after Rowhani toned down his country’s previous episodes of anti-Israel rhetoric, offering up negotiations with the U.S. and its allies over the disputed nuclear program.

Rowhani even went a step further in an interview with CNN airing on Wednesday, in which he condemned the Holocaust as “reprehensible.”

“Any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis created toward the Jews, is reprehensible and condemnable,” the newly elected leader told CNN.

“Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews we condemn. The taking of human life is contemptible,” he said, according to the US broadcaster’s translation.

“It makes no difference whether that life is Christian, Jewish or Muslim. For us it is the same,” added Rowhani, who gave his first speech at the United Nations General Assembly earlier Tuesday.

In the General Assembly speech, Rowhani said that his country posed no threat and was not pursuing nuclear weapons.

But Netanyahu was not convinced.

“As expected, this was a cynical speech that was full of hypocrisy,” said the Israeli PM, according to Agence France-Presse.

“Rowhani spoke of human rights even as Iranian forces are participating in the large-scale slaughter of innocent civilians in Syria,” he said in a statement issued early Wednesday in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu also accused Rowhani of condemning “terrorism even as the Iranian regime is using terrorism in dozens of countries around the world.”

He took issue with Rowhani for reaffirming Tehran’s position that its nuclear drive is “exclusively peaceful.”

“This is exactly Iran’s strategy — to talk and play for time in order to advance its ability to achieve nuclear weapons. Rowhani knows this well,” charged Netanyahu.

“The international community must test Iran not by its words but by its actions,” added Netanyahu, who will address the U.N. General Assembly next week.

He has refused to rule out a military strike against Iran’s contested nuclear program.

(With AFP)

EU demands Israel explain seizure of Palestinian aid

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

French diplomat Marion Castaing lays on the ground after Israeli soldiers carried her out of her truck. (Reuters)

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Al Arabiya

Israel has been asked by top European Union officials on Saturday to explain why its soldiers seized a truckload of humanitarian aid intended for Palestinians.

On Friday, Israeli soldiers manhandled European diplomats and seized emergency aid that was intended to be delivered to Palestinians whose homes were demolished this week, Reuters news agency reported.

EU officials said they deplored the confiscation of the aid.

“EU representatives have already contacted the Israeli authorities to demand an explanation and expressed their concern at the incident,” a statement issued by the spokesmen for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said on Saturday.

Israeli soldiers were seen by a Reuters reporter throwing sound grenades at a group of diplomats, aid workers and locals in the occupied West Bank.

A French diplomat was seen being “yanked” out of the truck by soldiers before they drove it away.

Relations between Israel and the EU have been tense over the EU’s decision in July to bar financial assistance to Israeli organizations operating in the occupied territories from next year.

(With Reuters)

Palestinian kills Israeli soldier to ‘trade body’

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

An Israeli soldier keeps watch as Palestinian youths demonstrate next to the security fence standing on the Gaza border with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. (File photo: AFP)

Saturday, 21 September 2013

AFP, Jerusalem

A Palestinian kidnapped and murdered an Israeli soldier hoping to exchange the body for his brother, jailed in the Jewish state since 2003, officials said on Saturday.

An army spokesman said the soldier “was kidnapped and killed by a Palestinian near Qalqiliya yesterday (Friday) and his body was found” on Saturday.

An AFP correspondent said his body was evacuated by helicopter on Saturday afternoon, following an overnight search.

The victim, who was not identified, was serving in the army but was on a weekend pass and knew the Palestinian, having worked with him at a restaurant south of Tel Aviv, the Shin Bet security agency said.

Shin Bet said it arrested the Palestinian suspect, 42-year-old Nidal Amer, at his family home in Beit Amin south of Qalqiliya, and that he had confessed to killing the soldier.

The suspect said he had abducted and killed him in the hope that he could “trade the body in exchange for the release” of one of his brothers who has been jailed by Israel sin 2003 in connection with several attacks, Shin Bet said in a statement.

“An investigation is under way and is expected to lead to the arrest of other individuals who took part in the incident,” Shin Bet said, adding that another of Amer’s brothers was also arrested on Saturday.

According to Shin Bet the soldier agreed to share a taxi on Friday with Amer.

“Nidal confessed that he took the soldier to a deserted area… then killed him and hid his body in a well,” Shin Bet said.

It did not say how Amer killed the soldier or how he persuaded him to accompany him to the West Bank.

A hunt was launched for the soldier after he failed to contact his family.

In The Market with Janet Parshall

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

In The Market with Janet Parshall

Detailed discussion on the role Iran is playing in the crisis in Syria, the Iranian nuclear program and the politics by the clerical establishment to relieve sanctions enforced by the West.

(From minute 9)

September 16, 2013

Listen Here

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