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

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.