“To the people of Lebanon, Israel means you no harm. But Iran does.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the annual forum of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. In his speech from Jerusalem (due to Covid-19, worldwide leaders delivered their speeches via videos, not in person in New York City), he devoted the lion’s share of the time to the threat Iran poses to the international community and especially in the Middle East.
He said that, “Iran is the greatest enemy of peace.” He also pointed out on a large map, the location in Beirut where Iran and Hezbollah placed their missile depot in the middle of a civilian neighborhood, next to gas works. Thus, using Lebanese civilians as “human shields.” He warned the Lebanese civilians of another impending tragedy as a result of Hezbollah’s actions, and urged them to demand that the Hezbollah remove the missiles from civilian homes and neighborhoods throughout Lebanon. Netanyahu added, “To the people of Lebanon, Israel means you no harm. But Iran does.”
Reflecting on the recently concluded peace treaties between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, Netanyahu said that, “Israel and the states across the Arab world not only stand together in advancing peace, we stand together in confronting the greatest enemy of peace in the Middle East – Iran. Iran wantonly and repeatedly attacks its neighbors, and its terror proxies are directly involved in violence throughout the Middle East, including in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Gaza, and of course Lebanon.”
Netanyahu reminded the leaders of the UNGA member states that in 2015, he stood alone among world leaders opposing the nuclear deal with Iran, arguing that the nuclear deal doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, it actually paved its way to it. He stressed that the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program were only temporary and were not tied to Iran’s change of behavior. He then proclaimed that, “Iran has violated even those temporary restrictions.” Netanyahu warned that Iran will have enough enriched uranium in a few months for two nuclear bombs. He proceeded to call on all the members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), to stand with the U.S. against Iran’s aggression.
Iran’s aim is not only to destroy Israel as a number of its leaders have proclaimed, but it is seeking to subvert the neighboring Arab states in the Gulf and beyond. In a recent statement by the Saudi State Security (September 28, 2020), it revealed that it managed to disband a terrorist cell linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The Saudi security force arrested ten individuals who had received training by the IRGC in Iran. According to Al-Arabiya (9/28/2020), the Saudis discovered “large quantities of arms and explosives in a house and on a farm. The security forces seized electrical components used in making explosives such as capacitors, transformers, and resistors, gunpowder, chemicals, Kalashnikov rifles, sniper rifles, live ammunition, machine guns, blades, military clothes, and wireless communication devices.”
Earlier this year, the Bahraini authorities managed to foil a terrorist attack backed by the Ayatollahs of Iran. Bahrain’s Interior Ministry charged that the IRGC was behind the attack. The investigation by the Interior Ministry found that a new group called, “The Qassim Soleimani Brigade,” has planned to attack several public and security facilities in Bahrain.
Last month, the German government imposed a ban on the sale of model aircraft engines to Iran. It appears that the Iranians used the model aircraft engines in drones and cruise missiles they delivered to the Houthis in Yemen. The Houthis (proxies of Iran) used the cruise missiles in the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities on September 14, 2019. Iran probably used the same model engines for their drone that attacked Israel last year. The Israeli Air Force shot down the Iranian drone. U.S. Intelligence revealed details proving that high-ranking Iranian officials ordered the Houthis strike against the Saudi oil facilities.
Iranian authorities are funding and arming extremist groups across the Middle East, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen, and Shiite mercenaries from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The latter, along with the Iraqi and Lebanese Hezbollah, are being used in the war in Syria. These proxies of the Islamic Republic of Iran have served as the long arm of the IRGC Quds Force in the region as well as globally. On July 18, 1994, the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group used a suicide van bomb to destroy the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, called AMIA in Spanish (Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina), killing 85 people and injuring hundreds in Argentina’s deadliest terrorist attack to date. Iran is using these groups to create chaos and instability.
Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the UN, had this to say about Iran on December 14, 2017, “The nuclear deal has done nothing to moderate the (Iranian) regime’s behavior in other areas.” She added, “It is hard to find a conflict or terror in the Middle East that does not have Iran’s fingerprints all over it.”
As PM Netanyahu reminded the Lebanese people that just a few days ago, one of these depots exploded at Ain Qana in south Lebanon. That is why Netanyahu claimed that the international community must insist that Hezbollah stop using Lebanon and Lebanese civilians as human shields. Moreover, Hezbollah has actually taken the Lebanese people and state hostage and cleared the way for the Ayatollahs of Iran to meddle in Lebanon’s affairs. The majority of the Lebanese people, Christians, Sunni-Muslim, Druse, and even many Shiite-Muslims resent Hezbollah’s intimidating stranglehold on their country. Hezbollah, the only armed group in Lebanon, now controls even the Lebanese armed forces. It has stockpiled huge quantities of missiles, and other lethal weapons, as well as ammunition throughout the country, awaiting a green light from Tehran’s Ayatollahs to use them against Israel, and other enemies of the Islamic Republic, including the Lebanese people themselves.
Netanyahu concluded his remarks to the UNGA, saying that, “Last month, when the Security Council refused to extend an arms embargo on Iran, the United States snapped back the sanctions.” And, “While the Security Council is divided, we in the region are united. Both Arabs and Israelis are together urging tough action on Iran. And when Arabs and Israelis agree, others should pay attention.”