It’s up to Iran to prove its nuclear program is peaceful, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry said on Tuesday morning. He added the situation in Syria was an opportunity for Israel to take part in shaping the future of the region.
The burden of proof is on Tehran to “disprove the allegations” its nuclear program is being used for military capabilities, Serry said in an interview to Army Radio, and not on the world to prove Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
The United Nations is obligated to the security of Israel, especially when it comes to threats in the region, he added
While Serry, who has served in the Middle East for four years, refused to talk about a possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, he said the UN was closely following reports on the matter.
Serry also said he believed Israel could take an active part in shaping a better future for the entire area, referring to the Syrian civil war. Israel was in the center of a storm that would undoubtedly have regional consequences, he said. The UN envoy said he hoped Israel looked at the situation and didn’t see only a risk, but also an opportunity.
As to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and possible solutions, Serry said the idea of two independent states, living side by side, was the only way to end the conflict. Serry said he “warned the UN Security Council” that it must provide a “political horizon for the Palestinians.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has indicated he may approach the UN for upgraded status at the body’s general assembly in September.
If the world doesn’t show the Palestinians it is serious about forming a sovereign state existing alongside Israel, it could “miss the two state solution entirely,” Serry said. Serry said he hoped such a vision would be reached in the near future, because there might not be a second chance.
On Monday, Serry told the closing ceremony of Israel’s model United Nations conference that the PA needed to show progress on the two-state front if it wanted political gains to go along with recent economic advances.
“The Palestinian Authority is quickly, in my view, losing its legitimacy in the eye of the public, if it is not able to bring also the political goal forwards – the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security,” he told the crowd at the College of Management in Rishon Lezion.