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When Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi strode to the podium Wednesday at the United Nations, Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan walked out.
It was a pointed diplomatic rebuke, and much more than that…it was personal. The Ambassador held a photograph of his late grandmothers, who were Holocaust survivors who survived Auschwitz.
“The murderer president that I see is a Holocaust denier,” Ambassador Erdan told Fox News in an exclusive interview. “We all remember in Israel, the Holocaust. I hope that the U.N., that was founded after the Holocaust and after World War II in order to prevent genocide, I hope they remember as well.”
“I know my family knows what happened during the Holocaust. It’s a consensus in Israel. We will do whatever is needed to stop the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear capabilities.”
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Erdan said that the potential of an Iran armed with nuclear weapons is something that his country and the world can never accept. The talks in Vienna on restarting the controversial Iranian nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, have stalled over Iran’s demand that the International Atomic Energy Agency close an investigation into traces of uranium that were discovered at three undeclared sites.
Raisi, in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly, said “America trampled upon the nuclear accord,” and claimed “if the rights of the people of Iran are respected, there is a great and serious will to resolve all issues.”
However, Ambassador Erdan made it clear that a restarted nuclear agreement will only give Tehran a clear path to obtaining nuclear weapons in a few years.
“The revival of this terrible deal is going to pave Iran’s way to an arsenal of nuclear bombs. Why? Because this deal is not going to solve even the one thing that it was aimed to solve, stopping a nuclear Iran. Why? Because it includes the sunset clauses, which means that in two to seven years from now, most, if not all, the restrictions on Iran will be lifted. And exactly as even President Obama admitted, Iran breakout time will be shrink to almost zero. So for Israel, it’s an existential threat, but we truly believe that this is a threat to the entire world.”
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Erdan said Israel “supports a diplomatic solution,” but added it can only be one that permanently blocks Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon. Additionally, he warns that the threat is not just from Iran’s nuclear program, but its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
“The Iranian regime is testing intercontinental missiles. As I remember, Iran and Israel are on the same continent. So why do they need intercontinental ballistic missiles? Because they want to…export their radical Shiite ideology, on all of us. On Paris and London and a New York. That is why we see there are terror attacks all across the world.”
He points out that a deal that frees up billions of dollars for Iran’s coffers will only enable the radical theocratic regime to pour untold riches into terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. With that in mind, he is adamant that the Jewish State will do what it needs to in order to protect itself.
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“We do not see ourself as being bound by any international agreement that is jeopardizing our future. And for Israel, all options are on the table and I think that the (Biden) administration also understands it and respects it.”
“We have to make sure that Israel has the capabilities to defend itself by itself. But still, we will continue to convince our allies, convince our friends that the revival of the deal is a grave mistake and there is a better way to stop Iran’s pathway towards a bomb.”
Jennifer Johnson contributed to this report.