Netanyahu Warns West: Don't Be Fooled by Iran

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is warning the West not to be fooled by Iran's "conciliatory words," following the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.

In his first speech to world leaders, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his nation was ready to restart stalled negotiations regarding its nuclear program. He also left out anti-Israel rhetoric.

Watch CBN News' Senior Editor John Waage's analysis on Wednesday's CBN News Today. He spoke with Efrem Graham about of the actions of the new Iranian president and how the U.S. and Israel are dealing with him.

But in response, Netanyahu said the West should not be fooled.

"Iran thinks that soothing words and token actions will enable it to continue on its path to the bomb. Like North Korea before it, Iran will try to remove sanctions by offering cosmetic concessions, while preserving its ability to rapidly build a nuclear weapon at a time of its choosing," Netanyahu said.

"Israel would welcome a genuine diplomatic solution that truly dismantles Iran's capacity to develop nuclear weapons.

"But we will not be fooled by half-measures that merely provide a smokescreen for Iran's continual pursuit of nuclear weapons. And the world should not be fooled either," he added.

In an earlier interview, Professor Moshe Sharon, an expert of Islam, told CBN News that Rouhani would likely speak in a more "civilized" manner to the Western world. 

He noted that Rouhani was educated in Scotland and speaks six languages, including fluent English. But he said in practice nothing would change.

"Whatever he's going to do it's going to be milder, it's going to be nicer but as far as the major things that Iran is doing it will continue to do exactly the same," Sharon said.

"It will continue to back Syria and Hafez al-Assad. It's going to develop more the relations with Russia. It's going to continue enriching uranium. All these things are going to be done, but they're going to be done on a nicer, more civilized key," Sharon added.

In his speech, President Obama said that Iran's nuclear program would be one of his "primary diplomatic initiatives going forward for the rest of my term."

Netanyahu welcomed Obama's words, he said in a statement, that "Iran's conciliatory words will have to be matched by action that is transparent and verifiable."

He said he looked forward to discussing this with Obama in Washington next week.

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Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl

CBN News Mideast Correspondent

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