Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 October 2019

Israel calls for maximum pressure on Iran

Foreign minister said ‘the world cannot allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons’

Israel Foreign Minister Israel Katz addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Israel Foreign Minister Israel Katz addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 26, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Israel’s top diplomat said the cruise missiles and drones that disabled key Saudi Arabian oil facilities, leading to the largest-ever surge in oil prices, were launched from Iran on the orders of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni.

Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Israeli Foreign minister Israel Katz reiterated long-standing support for President Donald Trump’s campaign of maximum pressure on Iran.

“We must stop Iran today, in order to prevent war tomorrow,” Mr Katz said in his address.

The US, Saudi Arabia and European partners in the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran have blamed Tehran for the September 14 strike on the heart of the Saudi oil industry.

Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected accusations that their armed forces were responsible for the assault, which was initially claimed by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, has warned that any US or Saudi military strike on Iran in retaliation for the Saudi attack would lead to “all-out war.”

While the international forum is a favourite stage for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to advance his case against Iran, he did not attend this year’s event for the first time since 2010.

He remained in Israel, where he is trying to build a coalition after an inconclusive election last week, the second time Israeli voters went to the polls this year.

Mr Katz also used his speech to raise Israel’s pursuit of peace agreements with its Arab neighbours, who share a mutual enemy in Iran.

He named high-tech, agriculture and water technology as areas where Israel could help the Gulf states.

He added that "the Gulf states have a lot of capabilities that can help Israel as well".

“Israel has a clear policy to advance ties, and normalisation with the Arab Gulf States,” Katz said.

“We have no conflict with the Gulf states, and we have common interests."

Updated: September 27, 2019 11:57 AM

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