Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that Iran had crossed “all red lines” in its nuclear program and vowed that Israel would not allow Tehran to acquire a nuclear weapon.
In his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Bennett said Iran sought to dominate the Middle East under a “nuclear umbrella” and urged a more concerted international effort to halt Iran’s nuclear activities.
But he also hinted at the potential for Israel to act on its own against Iran, something it has repeatedly threatened.
“Iran’s nuclear program has hit a watershed moment, and so has our tolerance. Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning,” Bennett said. “Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”
The U.N. ambassador for Iran, which has denied seeking a nuclear bomb, rejected Bennett’s speech as “full of lies.”
Bennett, a far-right politician who opposes Palestinian statehood, also drew an angry Palestinian reaction after he failed to mention the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Bennett, who ended Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year run as prime minister in June, wants U.S. President Joe Biden to harden his stance against Iran, Israel’s regional archfoe.