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Full Text of Netanyahu's U.N. Address

4:51 PM, Sep 27, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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In the last year, they've spread their international terror networks to two dozen countries across five continents – from India and Thailand to Kenya and Bulgaria. They've even plotted to blow up a restaurant a few blocks from the White House in order to kill a diplomat.

 

And of course, Iran's rulers repeatedly deny the Holocaust and call for Israel's destruction almost on a daily basis, as they did again this week from the United Nations.

 

So I ask you, given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine Iranian aggression with nuclear weapons. Imagine their long range missiles tipped with nuclear warheads, their terror networks armed with atomic bombs. 

 

Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who would be safe in Europe? Who would be safe in America? Who would be safe anywhere?

 

There are those who believe that a nuclear-armed Iran can be deterred like the Soviet Union.

 

That's a very dangerous assumption.     

 

Militant Jihadists behave very differently from secular Marxists. There were no Soviet suicide bombers. Yet Iran produces hordes of them.

 

Deterrence worked with the Soviets, because every time the Soviets faced a choice between their ideology and their survival, they chose their survival.

 

But deterrence may not work with the Iranians once they get nuclear weapons.

 

There's a great scholar of the Middle East, Prof. Bernard Lewis, who put it best. He said that for the Ayatollahs of Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it's an inducement. 

 

Iran's apocalyptic leaders believe that a medieval holy man will reappear in the wake of a devastating Holy War, thereby ensuring that their brand of radical Islam will rule the earth.

 

That's not just what they believe. That's what is actually guiding their policies and their actions.

 

Just listen to Ayatollah Rafsanjani who said, I quote:  "The use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything, however it would only harm the Islamic world."

 

Rafsanjani said: "It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality."

 

Not irrational…

 

And that's coming from one of the so-called moderates of Iran.

 

Shockingly, some people have begun to peddle the absurd notion that a nuclear-armed Iran would actually stabilize the Middle East.

 

Yeah, right…

 

That's like saying a nuclear-armed al-Qaeda would usher in an era of universal peace. 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I've been speaking about the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons for over 15 years.

 

I spoke about it in my first term in office as Prime Minister, and then I spoke about it when I left office. I spoke about it when it was fashionable, and I spoke about it when it wasn't fashionable.

 

I speak about it now because the hour is getting late, very late. I speak about it now because the Iranian nuclear calendar doesn't take time out for anyone or for anything. I speak about it now because when it comes to the survival of my country, it's not only my right to speak; it's my duty to speak. And I believe that this is the duty of every responsible leader who wants to preserve world peace.

 

For nearly a decade, the international community has tried to stop the Iranian nuclear program with diplomacy. 

 

That hasn't worked.

 

Iran uses diplomatic negotiations as a means to buy time to advance its nuclear program.

 

For over seven years, the international community has tried sanctions with Iran. Under the leadership of President Obama, the international community has passed some of the strongest sanctions to date.

 

I want to thank the governments represented here that have joined in this effort. It's had an effect. Oil exports have been curbed and the Iranian economy has been hit hard. 

 

It's had an effect on the economy, but we must face the truth. Sanctions have not stopped Iran's nuclear program either.

 

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, during the last year alone, Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges in its underground nuclear facility in Qom.

 

At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs. That's by placing a clear red line on Iran's nuclear weapons program. 

 

Red lines don't lead to war; red lines prevent war.

 

Look at NATO's charter: it made clear that an attack on one member country would be considered an attack on all.  NATO's red line helped keep the peace in Europe for nearly half a century.

 

President Kennedy set a red line during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That red line also prevented war and helped preserve the peace for decades.

 

In fact, it's the failure to place red lines that has often invited aggression. 

 

If the Western powers had drawn clear red lines during the 1930s, I believe they would have stopped Nazi aggression and World War II might have been avoided. 

 

In 1990, if Saddam Hussein had been clearly told that his conquest of Kuwait would cross a red line, the first Gulf War might have been avoided.

 

Clear red lines have also worked with Iran. 

 

Earlier this year, Iran threatened to close the Straits of Hormouz. The United States drew a clear red line and Iran backed off.   

 

Red lines could be drawn in different parts of Iran's nuclear weapons program. 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. Now let me explain why:

 

Basically, any bomb consists of explosive material and a mechanism to ignite it.  

 

The simplest example is gunpowder and a fuse. That is, you light the fuse and set off the gunpowder.

 

In the case of Iran's plans to build a nuclear weapon, the gunpowder is enriched uranium. The fuse is a nuclear detonator. 

 

For Iran, amassing enough enriched uranium is far more difficult than producing the nuclear fuse.

 

For a country like Iran, it takes many, many years to enrich uranium for a bomb. That requires thousands of centrifuges spinning in tandem in very big industrial plants. Those Iranian plants are visible and they're still vulnerable.  

 

In contrast, Iran could produce the nuclear detonator – the fuse – in a lot less time, maybe under a year, maybe only a few months. 

 

The detonator can be made in a small workshop the size of a classroom. It may be very difficult to find and target that workshop, especially in Iran. That's a country that's bigger than France, Germany, Italy and Britain combined. 

 

The same is true for the small facility in which they could assemble a warhead or a nuclear device that could be placed in a container ship. Chances are you won't find that facility either.

 

So in fact the only way that you can credibly prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, is to prevent Iran from amassing enough enriched uranium for a bomb.

 

So, how much enriched uranium do you need for a bomb? And how close is Iran to getting it?

 

Let me show you. I brought a diagram for you. Here's the diagram.

 

This is a bomb; this is a fuse.

In the case of Iran's nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages.

 

The first stage: they have to enrich enough of low enriched uranium.

 

The second stage: they have to enrich enough medium enriched uranium.

 

And the third stage and final stage: they have to enrich enough high enriched uranium for the first bomb.

 

Where's Iran? Iran's completed the first stage. It took them many years, but they completed it and they're 70% of the way there.

 

Now they are well into the second stage. By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. 

 

From there, it's only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.

           

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

What I told you now is not based on secret information. It's not based on military intelligence. It's based on public reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Anybody can read them. They're online.

 

So if these are the facts, and they are, where should the red line be drawn?

 

The red line should be drawn right here…

 

Before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb. 

 

Before Iran gets to a point where it's a few months away or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon. 

 

Each day, that point is getting closer. That's why I speak today with such a sense of urgency. And that's why everyone should have a sense of urgency.

 

Some who claim that even if Iran completes the enrichment process, even if it crosses that red line that I just drew, our intelligence agencies will know when and where Iran will make the fuse, assemble the bomb, and prepare the warhead. 

 

Look, no one appreciates our intelligence agencies more than the Prime Minister of Israel. All these leading intelligence agencies are superb, including ours. They've foiled many attacks. They've saved many lives.

 

But they are not foolproof.

 

For over two years, our intelligence agencies didn't know that Iran was building a huge nuclear enrichment plant under a mountain.

 

Do we want to risk the security of the world on the assumption that we would find in time a small workshop in a country half the size of Europe?

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb. The relevant question is at what stage can we no longer stop Iran from getting the bomb.

 

The red line must be drawn on Iran's nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target.

 

I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down.

 

This will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons program altogether.

 

Two days ago, from this podium, President Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be contained. 

 

I very much appreciate the President's position as does everyone in my country. We share the goal of stopping Iran's nuclear weapons program. This goal unites the people of Israel.  It unites Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike and it is shared by important leaders throughout the world.

 

What I have said today will help ensure that this common goal is achieved.           

 

Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together. 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The clash between modernity and medievalism need not be a clash between progress and tradition.

 

The traditions of the Jewish people go back thousands of years. They are the source of our collective values and the foundation of our national strength.

           

At the same time, the Jewish people have always looked towards the future. Throughout history, we have been at the forefront of efforts to expand liberty, promote equality, and advance human rights.

 

We champion these principles not despite of our traditions but because of them.

 

We heed the words of the Jewish prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Jeremiah to treat all with dignity and compassion, to pursue justice and cherish life and to pray and strive for peace.

 

These are the timeless values of my people and these are the Jewish people's greatest gift to mankind.           

 

Let us commit ourselves today to defend these values so that we can defend our freedom and protect our common civilization.

 

Thank you.

 

מח' מידע והפקה – אגף תקשורת

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