Iran's Khameini Urges Unity - to Fight Israel
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, on Monday appealed to Muslims around the world to utilize the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha (Holiday of the Sacrifice) to “unite against their enemies.” Muslims, he said, have one enemy that all can agree on and fight.
“The riots that are now going on in the Arab states are part of a plot by the Zionists and the Americans,” he said.
Those groups, Khameini said, “seek to spread terror and divide us. We Muslims must strengthen ourselves and unite against our heretical enemies, and spread the spirit of brotherhood among Muslims,” he said.
At the same time as invoking anti-American and anti-Israel conspiracy theories, Iranian politicians continued the “charm offensive” launched at the UN by President Hassan Rouhani. Speaking Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Zarif said that he was positive all issues surrounding Iran's nuclear program could be resolved within six months. Zarif was speaking before setting off for Geneva, where talks will take place on Iran's nuclear program this week.
“We will negotiate about the volume, levels and the methods of enrichment but shipping out the (enriched) material is a red line for Iran," Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi, who is representing Tehran at the talks, said on Sunday.
The Geneva meeting will be the first such talks since Rouhani took office in August, pledging to engage constructively to resolve the nuclear question and ultimately to secure the lifting of crippling Western sanctions. The West has responded positively to Rouhani's overtures, sparking fears in Israel that the sanctions could be significantly softened, or even ended.
Speaking Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin said that easing pressure on Iran over its nuclear program would be an “historic mistake, a moment before the sanctions achieve their objective, and particularly now, we must not give up on them but continue the pressure.
"Iran can quickly enrich uranium from a low level of 3.5 percent to a high level of 90 percent,” Netanayahu said. Iran “is willing today to give up on the enrichment to the interim level of 20 percen -- which is no longer important for it – in exchange for a significant easing of the sanctions," he charged.
“This means Iran is willing to give very little and receive a great deal," he said, warning that accepting such a deal could bring about "the collapse of the entire regime of sanctions."