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At UN assembly,Netanyahu calls Rouhani ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’

PM says Iran overtures a ruse,Israel won’t allow Tehran to get nuclear weapon.

Written by Reuters | United Nations | Published: October 3, 2013 1:43 am

PM says Iran overtures a ruse,Israel won’t allow Tehran to get nuclear weapon.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday dismissed a charm offensive by Iran’s new president as a ruse concocted by a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and declared that Israel was ready to stand alone to deny Tehran an atomic weapon.

In a combative address to the UN General Assembly,Netanyahu assailed the trustworthiness of Hassan Rouhani,Iran’s centrist president who has made diplomatic overtures to the United States and spoke by telephone last week with President Barack Obama.

“Rouhani doesn’t sound like Ahmadinejad,” Netanyahu said,referring to Rouhani’s hardline predecessor,Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,whose annual United Nations assembly addresses were stridently anti-Western and anti-Israel.

“But when it comes to Iran’s nuclear weapons program,the only difference between them is this: Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing,Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community,” Netanyahu said.

“This is a ruse,” Netanyahu added. “It’s a ploy.”

Netanyahu’s address,the last at this year’s gathering of world leaders in New York,reflected Israeli worries that the emerging signs of what could become a US-Iranian rapprochement might lead to a premature easing of international sanctions and military threats designed to deny Iran the means to make a bomb.

“Don’t let up the pressure,” Netanyahu said,adding that the only deal that could be made with Rouhani was one that “fully dismantles Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”

Netanyahu made clear that Israel,believed to possess the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal,was prepared to resort to unilateral military action against Iran if it deems diplomacy a dead end.

“I want there to be no confusion on this point. Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone,Israel will stand alone. Yet in standing alone,Israel will know that we will be defending many,many others,” the Israeli Prime Minister said.

Iran parliament backs Rouhani

DUBAI: Iran’s parliament strongly endorsed President Hassan Rouhani’s diplomatic bid to dispel mistrust at the United Nations last week during a visit which ended with an historic phone call with President Barack Obama,Iranian media said. A group of 230 parliamentarians,out of 290,signed a statement expressing their support of Rouhani for presenting the image of a “powerful and peace-seeking Iran which seeks talks and interaction for the settlement of regional and international issues”,Fars news agency said. AP

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