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Prosor: Rouhani is Like the Emperor with New Clothes

Israeli ambassador warns against easing the sanctions on Iran, says Rouhani "perfected the art of saying one thing and doing another."
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/23/2013, 5:45 AM

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, warned on Tuesday against easing the sanctions on Iran.

In a speech he gave to the United Nations Security Council, Prosor also criticized the world’s hypocrisy when condemns Israel but fails to condemn the Palestinian Authority after terror attacks or when it incites against the Jewish state.

“Since his election, [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani has tried to reinforce the image that he is a ‘moderate’. He was published in an American newspaper, appeared on network television, and even started using social media,” said Prosor.

“I have news for President Rouhani - embracing Twitter doesn’t make you a reformer, but embracing human rights certainly would,” he added. “The Iranian regime is notorious for violating women’s rights; targeting religious and ethnic minorities; and, denying fundamental freedoms to its citizens.

“Rouhani is like the Emperor with new clothes – cloaking himself as a moderate when Iranian radicalism remains clear to the naked eye. Unlike his predecessor, whose hateful rhetoric about wiping Israel off the map made him easy to dismiss, the new Iranian president has a strategy codenamed SLY (S-L-Y). Smile. Lie. Yield minor concessions,” said Prosor.

He warned that the Iranian president “has perfected the art of saying one thing and doing another. But you don’t have to believe me. You can read about it in his 2011 memoir describing his time as Iran's chief nuclear negotiator.”

“Since the June election, Iran has installed thousands of new centrifuges and just last month, the new president declared that Iran will not give up ‘one iota’ of its nuclear rights,” said Prosor. “Make no mistake - the Iranian program is not for peaceful purposes. Seventeen different countries peacefully produce nuclear energy without uranium enrichment or plutonium production. And yet, Iran insists that their enrichment infrastructure and technology is their ‘right.’ It’s not their right, in fact it’s wrong.”

He noted that the Iranian economy “is crumbling under the weight of crippling sanctions. And this pressure is getting results. And yet some states have suggested easing the sanctions. This suggestion reminds me of a boxer who is clinging to the ropes in the final round. Give him a moment to rest and he will turn around and attack you with more vigor. We must keep up the pressure until Iran agrees to play by the rules.”

Regarding the recently resumed peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, Prosor said that Israel welcomes the resumption of talks but called on PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to end the incitement against Israel in PA media.

“On the very same day that CNN beamed images of Abbas talking about peace at the UN, official Palestinian television delivered a very different message. The PA and Fatah held ceremonies to honor terrorists responsible for the murder and maiming of innocent Israelis,” said Prosor, who noted that Abbas failed to condemn recent terror attacks targeting Israeli soldiers in Arabic.

“Abbas only found his voice to condemn these attacks to a Jewish audience in New York City – while speaking in English,” he said, adding, “We have yet to hear President Abbas condemn these attacks in his native Arabic speaking to his own people. The time has come for the Palestinian leadership to clearly and unequivocally condemn violence and terrorism. The time has come to stop poisoning the minds of Palestinian children. The time has come to start teaching tolerance, mutual respect, and coexistence. After all, the next peace agreement depends on the next generation wanting peace.

“It’s time to stop the blame game,” he declared. “The UN library will have to open a new fiction section for the countless letters sent to the Security Council by the Palestinian delegate distorting the truth. We need to speak truthfully about the problems plaguing the Middle East.”

Prosor said that the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are not an obstacle to peace, noting that there were no “settlements” in Judea, Samaria and Gaza until 1967, yet throughout this time “the Palestinians still sought our destruction. And where were the Arab states? They did not lift a finger to create a Palestinian state and instead they also sought our destruction.

“Today, just 2% of the Israeli population lives in settlements, but they are blamed for 100% of the problems,” he added. “I have said it before and I will say it again, the settlements aren’t the major hurdle to peace; the real obstacle to peace is the Palestinians quest for the so-called right of return.”

The UN ambassador also dispelled the myth of there being a “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza, as its Hamas terrorist rulers claim.

“Israel has been accused of creating a humanitarian crisis in Gaza by restricting the free movement of goods. In fact, every month, trucks carrying hundreds of thousands of tons of goods - including food, medical equipment and construction materials - pass from Israel into the Gaza Strip,” said Prosor, adding, “In his past reports, the Secretariat has criticized Israel for restricting the entry of construction materials. How many of you have asked us to allow cement into Gaza so the Palestinians can build houses? And yet, when we do, in exchange for our goods and goodwill, Israel is repaid with tunnels of terror.

“Just over a week ago,” he said, “the IDF discovered a two kilometer tunnel originating in Gaza and ending just outside an Israeli community – not far from homes, kindergartens and playgrounds. The tunnel was built by Hamas using 500 tons of cement that had been earmarked for construction. I’ll repeat that again – 500 tons of cement. To understand how much that is, the Statue of Liberty weighs 225 tons. Just imagine how many schools, hospitals and homes could have been built.

“Instead of using construction materials to build a better future for the Palestinian people, the leadership in Gaza is committed to destroying the State of Israel,” said Prosor. “It may just be my hearing, but I have yet to hear the countries that demand Israel allow more cement into Gaza condemn these crimes.”