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Edelstein: Rouhani Lies While Developing Nuclear Weapons

Any agreement with Iran must ensure that it will not be able to obtain nuclear weapons, says Knesset Speaker in Rome.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/9/2013, 1:15 AM

MK Yuli Edelstein in Italy
MK Yuli Edelstein in Italy
Knesset Speaker's office

Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein warned on Tuesday that Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, was using deceptive tactics to trick the world into thinking Iran was planning to give up its nuclear program.

Speaking to Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino during a visit to Rome, Edelstein emphasized that it was important that any compromise reached with Iran should ensure that it will not be able to obtain nuclear weapons.

"Sanctions on Iran proved themselves and harmed the Iranian economy," Edelstein said, adding, "Iranian citizens are suffering from the sanctions. Therefore, Rouhani chose a strategy of hypocrisy toward the world through lies and tweets, while he tries to develop nuclear weapons."

Earlier Tuesday, Edelstein addressed the Italian Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, when he was asked why Israel does not get rid of its nuclear weapons while demanding that Iran does.

Edelstein responded by saying the two countries are not comparable and added, "That's like a criminal saying that he wants a gun because a police officer has a gun. If the world lets Iran have nuclear weapons, there will be an intensive arms race in the Middle East. It would be a nightmare."

He added that the world should ask itself why a country with oil would spend so much money and effort on nuclear energy.

Asked by Italian lawmakers about Israel’s building new Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria, Edelstein replied that "building is not an obstacle to peace. The proof for that is that we left Gaza in 2005. Unilateral plans did not prove themselves and only brought death to Israeli civilians."

He emphasized that as far as Israel is concerned, "Judea and Samaria is not occupied territory, but disputed territory."

During the visit to Italy, Edelstein also met with his Italian counterpart, Italian Chamber of Deputies President Laura Boldrini.

The Knesset Speaker asked Boldrini to ensure the Chamber of Deputies fights "absurd decisions" in the EU, such as the EU’s guidelines which boycott Israeli entities operating beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines and the Council of Europe's resolution against circumcision, one of Judaism's most fundamental laws.