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Iran is an existential threat, returning to nuclear agreement is 'serious mistake,' Israeli ambassador says at UN

Erdan also concerned that Hamas could increase its power in upcoming Palestinian Authority elections

Gilad Erdan , Israeli Ambassador to the UN and the US, addresses the UN Security Council, Oct. 26, 2020 (Photo: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ Shahar Azran)

In an address to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. and the UN warned that Iran poses an existential threat to the Jewish state and must become a focus of UN deliberations.

Gilad Erdan’s warning came during the council’s quarterly debate on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question.”

In recent days, Israel has vocalized its opposition to renewed nuclear talks between Iran and the United States. Erdan stressed that Israel does not consider itself bound by any agreement as long as Iran remains a danger to the Jewish state.

“For Israel, Iran poses an existential threat. That is why we will not see ourselves bound by any agreement that does not fully address the threat against the existence of the State of Israel. And every one of you would do the same if you were in our shoes, particularly in light of the Holocaust,” Erdan said.

While Iran poses a particularly severe threat to Israel, Erdan stressed that the regime destabilizes the entire Middle East region and beyond.

“Iran's relentless attempts to acquire military nuclear capabilities, its terrorist proxies that continue to destabilize the region and its grave human rights violations remain the most substantial threat to peace and security in the Middle East,” stated Erdan.

Erdan blasted the UN Security Council for ignoring the growing Iranian threat while focusing disproportionately on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Yet, this council does not take the steps necessary to stop Iran. It continues to ignore the most pressing matter in the Middle East and instead, wastes these debates recycling useless discussions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite the fact that the Abraham Accords have clearly proven this is not the issue – Iran is."

Erdan warned that it would be a serious mistake to return to the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement, saying it would escalate the Iranian threat.

”Just like in 2015, the fanatical ayatollahs will use sanction relief to fund their terrorist activities and continue to secretly develop their military nuclear program. All they will have to do is wait for the agreement to expire by 2030. Then, they will have international legitimacy to have thousands of advanced centrifuges enriching uranium and their breakout time will be almost down to zero, as (former U.S.) President (Barack) Obama himself admitted."

Erdan also warned of the consequences of allowing Hamas to run in the upcoming Palestinian Authority elections.

“The fact that Hamas is being allowed to run in the upcoming elections and is predicted to increase its power should be worrying for this body. It should be worrying for everyone,” said Erdan. “I hope that you will at least address how this institution will be able to continue to work with the Palestinian Authority if Hamas increases its power in the upcoming elections and becomes an official part of the Palestinian Authority.”

Hamas, similar to Iran, is a fundamentalist Islamist organization, which is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state. Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Japan. In addition, the United Kingdom and Australia classify the military wing of Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Despite growing Israeli concerns over the resumed nuclear talks between Iran and world powers, Erdan told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that Israel is working with the United States to prevent the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“We are holding a series of in-depth conversations with the administration in order to reach a joint position about the next steps,” Erdan said. “When it comes to a return to the original agreement – as we said – we believe that it decreases the chances of making a better deal in the future, but the discussions are still ongoing.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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