Iran on Tuesday warned Israel not to so much as “think about” attacking it, telling Israel not to “miscalculate” and stressing the Islamic Republic’s ability to defend itself.
Khodadad Seifi, Iran’s deputy ambassador to the UN, utilized a right of reply to speak immediately after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the General Assembly.
Netanyahu had said he wanted “to give diplomacy with Iran a chance to succeed,” but he cautioned that President Hasan Rouhani was trying to “fool” the world. And he said Israel would “never acquiesce to nuclear arms in the hands of a rogue regime that repeatedly promises to wipe us off the map… Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.”
In his response, Seifi asserted Iran’s “inherent right” to “peaceful nuclear science and technology,” and called Netanyahu’s speech “extremely inflammatory.”
“I do not want to dignify such unfounded accusations with an answer, other than categorically rejecting them all,” he went on, accusing Netanyahu of “trying to mislead this august body about the Iranian nuclear program. But unlike last year, without cartoon drawings.”
“No one can dictate [to] Iran what to do or not to do” on its nuclear program, he said.
He protested that Netanyahu, whom he did not mention by name, had continued “saber-rattling” and “threatening” against Iran.
The Israeli prime minister, Seifi warned, “should seriously avoid miscalculation about Iran.” He added, “Iran’s centuries-old policy of nonaggression must not be interpreted as its inability to defend itself.”
Iran rejected the use of force, he said. But “Iranians are proud of being the best at exercising their inherent right of self-defense… Therefore, the Israeli prime minister had better not even think about attacking Iran, let alone planning for that.”