JERUSALEM, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's speech at the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday night, saying it is " cynical" and "full of hypocrisy."
"Rouhani spoke of human rights even as Iranian forces are participating in a large-scale slaughter of innocent civilians in Syria," Netanyahu said in a statement dispersed by the Prime Minister's Office.
Netanyahu also said that despite Rouhani's assertion that the nuclear program is meant for civilian purposes, the International Atomic Energy Agency determined the plan has military aspects.
"Any rational person understands that Iran, one of the most oil- rich countries, is not investing capital in ballistic missiles and underground nuclear facilities to produce electricity," the Israeli prime minister asserted.
Netanyahu justified his earlier call for the Israeli delegation to ban the Iranian President's speech, repeating the claim that Iran's new strategy is "to talk and play for time in order to advance its ability to achieve nuclear weapons."
"The international community must test Iran not by words but by actions," he added.
Netanyahu is considered a hard-liner when it comes to Iran and its efforts to achieve nuclear capabilities, but not all Israeli officials agreed with Netanyahu's decision to ban the Iranian president's speech.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid, one of the major players in Israeli politics since last January elections, called the move a mistake.
"Israel shouldn't be portrayed as a serial objector to negotiations uninterested in peaceful solution," Lapid said in a statement.
"Leaving the UN assembly is reminiscent of the ways Arab states behave toward Israel," he added.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that the ice was already "beginning to break" between his country and the West, although no meeting or hand-shaking has taken place with his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, in New York.
Rouhani, who addressed the UN General Assembly for the first time as Iranian president on Tuesday afternoon, continued to strike a conciliatory note in an interview with CNN. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that Iran seeks "constructive engagement" with other countries based on mutual respect and common interest, pledging never to develop nuclear weapons.
While addressing the UN General Assembly here for the first time as president, Rouhani said that Iran and other actors should pursue a political solution for the nuclear issue of Iran. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani will not meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, said a senior Obama administration official Tuesday.
The senior official told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that Washington is open to having discussion with the Iranians "at any level" but they did not have any plan for a formal bilateral meeting at the presidential level at the United Nations. Full story