News / Middle East

Iran Nuclear Tensions Key Topic at UN Assembly

Secretary General of the U.N. Ban Ki-moon (r) meets with President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at United Nations Headquarters, Sept. 23, 2012.
Secretary General of the U.N. Ban Ki-moon (r) meets with President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at United Nations Headquarters, Sept. 23, 2012.
Scott Bobb
A key topic at this week's session of the United Nations General Assembly is Iran's alleged development of nuclear weapons and the threat by Israel and the United States to use military force to stop it.
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet Sunday that he would warn the U.N. General Assembly that an Iran armed with nuclear weapons would be a global threat.
 
He says he will argue that what he calls the most dangerous state in the world cannot be armed with the most dangerous weapons in the world.
 
Netanyahu is due to address the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, one day after Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to speak to the world body.
 
Iran says it is developing nuclear technology for peaceful purposes only. Israel and several Western governments disagree.  The United Nations Security Council along with the United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Iran.  

But Netanyahu has called on the international community to set what he calls clear "red lines" for Iran's nuclear program which, if overstepped, could lead to military action.

Ahmadinejad on Monday slammed Western powers, saying their campaign against Iran's nuclear program was "sacrilege" against Islam.  He spoke in New York at a U.N. debate on the rule of law and said the United States, Britain and France "violate the basic rights and freedoms of other nations."

In recent days, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Major-General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said any attacks against Iran could lead to a global conflict.
 
He says he does not think anything would remain of Israel considering its small size and its vulnerability.
 
International media report that Israel possesses nuclear weapons, something the Israeli government neither confirms nor denies.
 
Israeli political columnist Ativa Eldar says this reported capability is one of the main reasons for Iran's suspected nuclear weapons effort.  And he says attacking Iran would likely worsen the situation.
 
"If Israel strikes Iran it will not take more than two to three years before they will be in a position to not only have the (nuclear) capability but have a very good excuse and motivation to balance their strategic capabilities, which is to have the nuclear bomb as long as Israel will have it," Eldar said.
 
Netanyahu says Israel reserves the right to act unilaterally if its allies do not back it.
 
But Eldar does not believe Israel would attack Iran before the U.S. elections in November because Israeli leaders would not want to be seen as interfering in America's internal politics.
 
Some analysts say Israel will not attack Iran unilaterally because there is no domestic consensus on it.
 
Opinion polls show that many Israelis are worried about the possible threat from a nuclear-armed Iran, but they also worry about the repercussions of an attack on Iran.
 
Professor Danny Rubenstein of Ben Gurion University says that Israel is due to hold national elections next year and Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak may be preparing for this contest.
 
"There is a real need for us to get rid of the threat of the Iranian nuclear project but there are some other reasons beyond this and one of them is (that) Netanyahu and Ehud Barak wish to do it themselves and have the credit of being the hero," said Rubenstein.
 
The Israeli and U.S. governments agree that Iran must be prevented from developing nuclear weapons, but the two differ on the time frame for any possible preemptive strike.
 
Eldar says a military attack could jeopardize (threaten) the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The objective of the N.P.T., which has been signed by 190 parties, is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and promote nuclear disarmament worldwide.  
 
"Israel never signed the N.P.T.  Iran did," said Eldar. "I recently met in a conference a number of Iranian scholars who made it very clear that this kind of imbalance, this kind of what they call double standard, cannot be preserved forever."
 
Senior Iranian leaders have said if attacked, Iran might leave the Treaty.  Israel and Western government argue that one of the main reasons for stopping any Iranian nuclear weapons program is to prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Persian King from: Iran
September 25, 2012 4:01 PM
how could a county that respects itself allow its leaders to say that Israel has no roots in Israel... and still lay claim to the patrimony of the Great King Darius...? how could such an Aphid presume to profane the Persian heritage of Iran...?? we are conquered by Islam... hatred and degradation came into our country with Islam... we need to take back our country from these despicable corrupt Ayatollahs... we have to rise up !!!!

by: wavettore from: usa
September 25, 2012 3:50 AM
One large virtual arena could solve the problems between all State leaders in a marathon with no time limits and for the resolution of all disputes, openly and on a video-conference seen on every TV. Every Country could speak publicly and make a case for their disturbances, while the World could hear it. The World could then answer by spelling it in each language because each Country will have to reply. The people could be like the ultimate judge, voting for one voice. Some State leaders could ask other Countries: “Do you believe in Equality?” Those in the slave business do not like to hear that.


by: Bean Cube from: Seattle WA
September 25, 2012 2:52 AM
After we send troops into Israel then we can assure neighboring population of the region clearing of the threats of nuclear weapons hiding inside Israel. If we trade with Iranians, Iran's nuclear power plants can be more easily monitored. Our economic recovery will be much easier if we don't trap ourselves by Zionist war sellers.

by: NVO from: USA
September 24, 2012 4:12 PM
Currently serving his second term as president, Ahmadinejad -- a believer that the Twelfth Imam is coming soon to annihilate the U.S. and Israel and to set up a global Islamic caliphate -- is expected to leave office in 2013. This may be, therefore, the Iranian leader's last address to the U.N. in his current role. He has spoken about the imminent arrival of the Twelfth Imam or "Promised One" in every U.N. speech so far. Will he go further this time? He is certainly projecting self-confidence in the face of a possible war with Israel. "Fundamentally we do not take seriously the threats of the Zionists," Ahmadinejad told reporters in New York this morning. "We have all the defensive means at our disposal and we are ready to defend ourselves."

One of Iran's top military leaders went further over the weekend, however. He spoke not of his nation's ability to defend itself from an Israeli attack, but of its potential desire to strike first -- at Israel and at American military personnel and facilities. "Iran could launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel if it was sure the Jewish state were preparing to attack it, a senior commander of its elite Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Sunday," Reuters reports. "Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, made the comments to Iran's state-run Arabic language Al-Alam television, according to a report on the network's website. Be it known...there will be a PRE-election Israeli strike on Iran, and Obama will take the credit to be re-elected by his DUPED IGNORANT SOCIALIST supporters!!
In Response

by: FOX from: USA
September 25, 2012 3:16 AM
romney the 4 time draft dodger was in israel few weeks ago calling for israel to attack iran hes got their back lol
Actualy Israel and US should friends with all without their greedy ness US can make this world Paradise but? not US Israel busy robing and Land grabbing Exporting Terrorism just to sell their Arms

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs