News / Middle East

Israel Seeks ‘Red Lines’ on Iran; Palestinians Want UN Upgrade

Margaret Besheer
Israel’s prime minister urged the international community to place a “clear red line” on Iran’s controversial nuclear program as he addressed the U.N. General Assembly Thursday.  Separately, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas blasted Israel for its illegal settlement activity and said his government will seek upgraded U.N. status within the year. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country and much of the world are at risk from a potentially nuclear-armed Iran.

He said the international community’s decade of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and the imposition of sanctions have not stopped Tehran from advancing its nuclear technology.

“There is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs - and that’s by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  Red lines don’t lead to war, red lines prevent war," said Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, September 27, 2012.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, September 27, 2012.
x
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, September 27, 2012.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, September 27, 2012.
The Israeli leader said time is running out for the world to stop Iran.  He used a cartoonish drawing of a bomb to explain that a red line must be drawn at Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, which he said is already beyond the 70 percent level.

“And by next spring, at most by next summer, at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and moved on to the final stage.  From there it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks, before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb," he said.

His demand comes two days after U.S. President Barack Obama disappointed some Israelis by not giving Iran an ultimatum in his own U.N. address, although he did warn that time for diplomacy "is not unlimited."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters, September 27, 2012.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters, September 27, 2012.
x
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters, September 27, 2012.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters, September 27, 2012.
Netanyahu barely addressed the Palestinian issue, except to say that more negotiations are needed.  But Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas blasted Israel for allowing settlers to carry out what he called “a campaign of ethnic cleansing” against his people.  

“Israel refuses to end the occupation and refuses to allow the Palestinian people to attain their rights and freedom, and rejects the establishment of the state of Palestine," said Abbas.

Abbas said he is consulting with other U.N. member states about seeking an upgrade in Palestinian status in the General Assembly within a year.

“We are confident that the vast majority of the countries of the world support our endeavor aimed at salvaging the chances for a just peace," he said.

Last year, the Palestinians abandoned efforts to get full U.N. membership after their application stalled in the Security Council membership committee.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

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