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“As expected, this was a cynical speech that was full of hypocrisy,” Netanyahu said in a press release issued early on Wednesday.
“Rouhani spoke of human rights even as Iranian forces are participating in the large-scale slaughter of innocent civilians in Syria… He spoke of a nuclear program for civilian purposes even as an IAEA report determines that the program has military dimensions,” Netanyahu said.
He said Rohani’s remarks did not herald a change in the Iranian policy. Rohani, he said, did not offer a practical way to stop Iran’s nuclear program and made no commitment to abide by UN Security Council decisions.
“This is exactly Iran's strategy – to talk and play for time in order to advance its ability to achieve nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “The international community must test Iran not by its words but by its actions.”
In his statement, Netanyahu stood by his decision to boycott Rohani’s speech at the UNGA and said it was necessary in order to not grant legitimacy “to a regime that does not recognize the existence of the Holocaust and which publicly declares its desire to wipe the State of Israel off the map.”
“I could not allow the Israeli delegation to be part of a cynical public relations ploy by a regime that denies the Holocaust and calls for our destruction,” he said.