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Lapid says Iran leads an ‘orchestra of hate’ against Israel and its own people

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Prime Minister Yair Lapid addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, 2022. (Screenshot)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, 2022. (Screenshot)

After blasting those who spread lies about Israel, Prime Minister Yair Lapid turns to Iran, saying the Islamic Republic is the one “conducting this orchestra of hate.”

The prime minister charges Tehran with hating its own people, and says that “the world is silent” while young Iranians suffer.

“They pay for their desire to live a life of freedom — with their lives,” he says.

Lapid brings up the author Salman Rusdhie, the novelist who was stabbed in August after living for decades under an Iranian fatwa calling for his death; and Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Iranian woman who died last Friday days after being arrested for violating hijab regulations.

“Their hate is a way of life,” he says. “It is a way to preserve their oppressive rule.”

Iran is the only UN country to openly call for Israel’s destruction, Lapid points out.

“And this building is silent,” he charges. “What are you afraid of? Has there ever been a time in human history where silence stopped violence?”

Lapid then moves to Iran’s nuclear program. “If the Iranian regime gets a nuclear weapon, they will use it,” he says, calling for a credible military threat.

“And then — and only then — to negotiate a longer and stronger deal with them,” Lapid says, repeating the argument he has multiple times in recent weeks. “It needs to be made clear to Iran, that if it advances its nuclear program, the world will not respond with words, but with military force.”

“Every time a threat like that was put on the table in the past, Iran stopped, and retreated.”

Lapid accuses the world of “choosing the easy option.” He says that Israel cannot do that, and will “do whatever it takes” to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon.

“We will not stand by while there are those who try to kill us. Not again. Never Again.”

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