Iran’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday called Israel the “founding father of state-terrorism” and said Iran “reserves its full right to retaliate with full force against any attack” on its nuclear facilities.
Addressing the General Assembly in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech earlier in the day, Deputy Ambassador Eshaq Al-e-Habib called on the international community to “live up to its responsibility and exert more pressure on Tel Aviv to end all this irresponsible behavior in the volatile Middle East,” Iranian Press TV reported on Friday.
Al-e-Habib accused Netanyahu of making “absurd allegations against [the] exclusively peaceful nuclear program of my country” while Israel’s “clandestine nuclear program and its un-safeguarded nuclear facilities… are the only source of threat to the peace, security and stability in the Middle East and beyond.”
Netanyahu on Thursday delivered a speech before the UN General Assembly in which he called for the establishment of “red lines” regarding Iran’s unsanctioned nuclear program in order to “peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs.”
“But to be credible, a red line must be drawn first and foremost in one vital part of their program: on Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium,” Netanyahu said.
The Iranian delegate charged that Israel must “accede promptly and without any condition to the Nuclear Non-Profileration Treaty as a nonnuclear-weapon party and to place all its nuclear-related facilities under the comprehensive IAEA verification system.”
Al-e-Habib said “the officials of the Israeli regime are so rude. [They] on [a] daily basis threaten countries in the region, particularly my country, [with] military attack.” Should Iran be attacked by Israel, Al-e-Habib told the General Assembly that “The Islamic Republic of Iran is strong enough to defend itself and reserves its full right to retaliate with full force against any attack.”
He further accused the Israeli government of “ruthlessly killing innocent women and children and committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity,” citing the 2006 Second Lebanon War and 2008-9’s Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in Gaza.
“I don’t want either to describe the dark history of terrorist activities committed by this regime which is based on terrorism and is the founding father of state-[sponsored] terrorism in the world,” Al-e-Habib said.
In Iran, meanwhile, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said Israel’s threats only reinforced Iran’s determination. “The enemies want to stop us continuing our path… but these threats only reinforce our determination to continue in the same direction,” Mohammad Ali Jafari said in a speech Friday to Basij militiamen quoted by AFP. “That is why, when the Zionists make military threats, they are put in their place by the United States.”
AFP also quoted Farzad Esmaili, a general who heads Iran’s ballistic missile units, warning that, “If a military attack is launched against our nuclear installations, we promise that the enemies will not escape alive.”