Israel PM Yair Lapid says world should use force if Iran makes nuclear weapons, calls for a ‘peaceful’ Palestinian state

The international community should use military force if Iran develops nuclear weapons, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid told the United Nations on Thursday, as he reiterated support for the creation of a “peaceful” Palestinian state.

Israel has been conducting an intense diplomatic offensive in recent months to try to persuade the United States and main European powers such as Britain, France and Germany not to renew the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

For the past 10 days, various officials have suggested the deal – which was scrapped by US then-President Donald Trump in 2018 – may not be renewed until at least mid-November, a time frame that Lapid said in the West. Tried to use it. Taking a tough stance in negotiations.

“The only way to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is through a credible military threat,” Lapid said in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

Only then can a “long and strong deal” be negotiated with them.

“Iran needs to make it clear that if it moves forward with its nuclear program, the world will respond not with words, but with military force,” he said.

And he kept no secret that he himself would be willing to engage if Israel felt threatened.

“We will do whatever is necessary,” he said. “Iran will not get nuclear weapons.”

A senior US official downplayed any differences between Lapid and President Joe Biden, who has vowed not to let Iran develop a nuclear bomb.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said diplomacy was the “best way” to achieve that goal, but that “as a last resort, he would resort to military force.”

From the General Assembly forum, Lapid accused Tehran’s leadership of conducting an “orchestra of hate” against Jews, adding that Iranian ideologues “hated and killed differently-abled Muslims like Salman Rushdie and Mahsa Amini.” “The woman who died after her arrest. Iran’s ethics policy has triggered widespread protests there.

Israel, which considers Iran its arch enemy, also blames Tehran for funding armed movements including Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas.

Support for two states

Despite the current “odds”, he said, “an agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two people, is the right thing for Israel’s security, for the Israeli economy and for the future of our children.”

Lapid, campaigning for the November 1 legislative elections, said most Israelis support the two-state solution, “and I am one of them.”

“We have only one condition: a future Palestinian state be peaceful,” Lapid said in a UN speech criticizing his political rivals back home.

Biden, however, said he welcomed Lapid’s “courageous” support for a two-state solution.

“I couldn’t agree more,” tweeted the Democratic president.

Two days earlier, Biden renewed his support for the establishment of a Palestinian state at the United Nations but gave no indication of any new peace initiatives.

Israel-Palestinian peace talks have been stalled since 2014.

The current strategy of the Lapid government is to try to support the Palestinian economy but without starting the peace process with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, who is due to address the United Nations on Friday.

Israel has occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since 1967, and since 2007 imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian territory controlled by Islamists from Hamas.

Since 2008, Hamas and Israel have waged four wars in which Islamic Jihad, the second largest armed Islamic movement in Gaza, has also participated.

“Put down your arms and prove that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not going to take over the Palestinian state you want to create,” Lapid said.

“Put down your arms, and there will be peace.”

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