DANGER OF IRAN WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS
At stake is not merely the future of my country, at stake is the future of the world. And nothing could imperil our common future more than the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons. To understand what the world would be like with a nuclear armed Iran, just imagine the world with a nuclear armed Al-Qaeda. Now it makes little difference whether these lethal weapons are in the hands of the world's most dangerous terrorist regime or the world's most dangerous terrorist organization. They are both fired by the same hatred. They are both driven by the same lust for violence.
I speak about it now because the the hour is getting late, very late. I speak about it now because the Iranian nuclear calendar does not take time out for anyone or for anything. I speak about it now because when it comes to the survival of my country, it is not only my right to speak, it is my duty to speak.
There were no Soviet suicide bombers, yet Iran produces hordes of them. Deterrence worked with the Soviets, because every time the Soviets faced a choice between their ideology and their survival, they chose their survival.
RED LINES FOR IRAN
At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs and that's by placing a clear red line on Iran's nuclear weapons program. Red lines don't lead to war. Red lines prevent war.
Red lines could be drawn in different parts of Iran's nuclear weapons program. But to be credible, a red line must be drawn first and foremost in one vital part of their program: on Iran's efforts to enrich uranium.
Ladies and gentlemen, the relevant question is not when Iran would get the bomb. The relevant question is at what stage can we no longer stop Iran from getting the bomb. The red line must be drawn on Iran's nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target. I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down. This will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons program altogether
THE POINT OF NO RETURN
Before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb. Before Iran gets to a point where it is a few months away, or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon. Now each day that point is getting closer and that's why I speak today with such a sense of urgency.
By next spring, at most by next summer, at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and moved on to the final stage. From there it's only a few months, possibly a few weeks, before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
ALLIANCE WITH US
Two days ago, from this podium, President Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be contained. I very much appreciate the President's position, as does everyone in my country. We share the goal of stopping Iran's nuclear weapons program. This goal unites the people of Israel. It unites Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike and it is shared by important leaders throughout the world. What I have said today will help ensure that this common goal is achieved. Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together.
THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
Israel cherishes peace and seeks peace. We seek to preserve our historic ties and our historic peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. We seek to forge a durable peace with the Palestinians. President Abbas just spoke here. I say to him and I say to you: we won't solve our conflict with libelous speeches at the UN. That's not the way to solve them. We won't solve our conflict with unilateral declarations of statehood. We have to sit together, negotiate together and reach a mutual compromise in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the one and only Jewish state.