Iran Pres. Rouhani's UN Speech More of the Same

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israelis weren't the only ones who saw through Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's charm offensive at the United Nations earlier this week.

The Iranian president told the General Assembly, "Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran's security and defense doctrines and contradict our fundamental religious and ethical convictions."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the speech typified the Islamic Republic's strategy.

"This is exactly Iran's strategy -- to talk and play for time in order to advance its ability to achieve nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said in a statement issued by his office. "Rouhani knows it well."

Netanyahu said a decade ago Rouhani bragged of his success "in misleading the West so that while Iran was holding talks, it simultaneously advanced its nuclear program."

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Rouhani's speech embodied more of the Islamic Republic's well-oiled "false diplomacy."

"You know Rouhani began his speech today by saying 'yes to peace, no to war.' Well, you know, game over. What could go wrong after that kind of statement?" Bolton told Fox News Greta Van Susteren. 
 
"That's the kind of false diplomacy the Iranians have proven themselves very adept at, but the threats of terrorism, terrorism that Iran supports, the world's central banker to international terrorism, you can see spreading," he said.

Nuclear-free Middle East

Rouhani called on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), saying Iran is "a harbinger of just peace and comprehensive security" in the region.

Israeli Intelligence and International Affairs Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz said it's the same old rhetoric.

"Iran's new president is playing an old and familiar game by trying to deflect attention from Iran's nuclear weapons program," Steinitz said in a statement released by his ministry.

Israel, surrounded by a sea of hostile neighbors, has never openly discussed its nuclear capabilities.

"The problem of the NPT in the Middle East is not with those countries that have not signed the NPT, but countries like Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria that have signed the treaty and brazenly violated it," Steinitz said. "Unlike Iran, Israel has never threatened the destruction of another country."

Bolton said Rouhani "made it very clear…they're never going to give up their nuclear weapons program."
 
"That's been their position consistently for 20 years and anybody who thinks they can be talked out of that nuclear weapons program is delusional," he said.

Bolton also believes President Barack Obama's diplomatic path has put Israel in more danger.

"…I must say I think Israel is in much more dangerous shape after President Obama's offer today to have Secretary of State Kerry negotiate with the new Iranian foreign minister," he said.

"I think we're now going to be launched on a protracted period of meaningless negotiations. The Iranians will use this time to try to persuade people to reduce the economic sanctions. Why not? Why not make it easier for Iran? But they will do nothing to slow down their nuclear weapons program," Bolton said.

"Hassan Rouhani has played this playbook before 10 years ago when he was Iran's chief nuclear negotiator. He knows how to gull the West. The West is ready to be gulled under President Obama. They're going to take us for a ride and the world will be a much more dangerous place as Iran gets closer to that nuclear weapons threshold," he said.

Calling the Iranian regime "the world's central banker to international terrorism," Bolton said the terrorism Iranian Islamists supports is spreading.

"When the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan, Taliban and al Qaeda will take back over there. It will support Pakistani Taliban, the groups that attacked this Christian church. The government of Pakistan will be vulnerable to Taliban or other radicals along with its arsenal of nuclear weapons," he said. 

Meanwhile, former Canadian Justice Minister MP Irwin Cotler detailed some of Iran's human rights abuses in an analysis entitled "Six Questions for President Rouhani," pointing out its history of torture, persecution of religious minorities, and a pervasive assault on women.

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