It is interesting that the focus is back to Iran's nuclear development as the UN begins a big week:
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s United Nations speechTuesday was a public relations stunt to lull the west into believing that Tehran had softened its stance on its nuclear weapons program, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned overnight Tuesday.
“It was a cynical speech full of hypocrisy,” said Netanyahu in a statement he issued from Jerusalem hours after the newly elected Iranian president made his first appearance before the General Assembly in New York.
Upon Netanyahu’s ordersthe Israeli delegation was not in the General Assembly plenum when Rouhani spoke.
Rouhani has promised world leaders that Iran’s nuclear program was for peaceful purposed and that nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction had no place in his country.
After listening to US President Barack Obama’s speech earlier Tuesday, Rouhani said he believed that that a framework could be created “to manage our difference.”
“It is no coincidence that the speech lacked both any practical proposal to stop Iran's military nuclear program and any commitment to fulfill UN Security Council decisions,” Netanyahu said.
He warned that Tehran’s strategy was to use negotiations with the West on its nuclear program as a fig leaf to hide its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons, Netanyahu said.
From the pulpit of the General Assembly in New York City, Rouhani denounced international economic sanctions levied against the Islamic Republic of Iran as belligerent, blamed “outside actors” for fanning the flames of civil war in Syria, and condemned the ”institutionalized aggression against the innocent Palestinian people.”
Iran’s president called Israel a threat to the region Sunday while insisting his own country is “loyal” to its pledge not to seek nuclear weapons.
The comments by Hasan Rouhani came on the eve of his trip to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, and amid a charm offensive aimed at thawing ties with the West.
But what might have raised eyebrows in Jerusalem was Obama’s not-so subtle linkage of the Iranian nuclear threat with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
“In the near term, America’s diplomatic efforts will focus on two particular issues: Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the Arab-Israeli conflict,” Obama said, opening the central, major section of his speech. “While these issues are not the cause of all the region’s problems, they have been a major source of instability for far too long, and resolving them can help serve as a foundation for a broader peace.”
Knowing that Netanyahu sees the prevention of a nuclear armed Iran as an absolute imperative — it’s his life’s mission, one that he’s absolutely obsessed with, people close to the prime minister intimate — the linkage offered the interpretation that Obama remained determined to thwart Iran’s nuclear quest, but also to ensure that Jerusalem show itself increasingly forthcoming on the Palestinian quest for statehood.
With Obama having specified Tuesday that the Iranian nuclear issue and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are the two current key focuses of his foreign policy, Netanyahu will likely hear from the president, at their meeting in the White House scheduled for next Monday, the promise of a firm American stance on the nuclear issue and the expectation of a generous Israeli position regarding Palestinian peace negotiations.