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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs