By Erin Viner
While expressing resounding support of “an independent Jewish state,” the US leader voiced his view that “a Two-State Solution is the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish democratic state, living in peace alongside a viable, sovereign, and democratic Palestinian state.”
While vowing to defend America’s ally Israel, he went on to acknowledge that a Two-State Solution with the Palestinians is a still needed but a distant goal.
“We are a long way from that goal at this moment, but we must never allow ourselves to give up on the possibility of progress,” said Biden.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014 under the administration of former President Barack Obama, while Biden was serving as Vice President.
The Democratic leader made his remarks to the world body during his first address to the world body as President, as part of a speech in which he proclaimed the US would engage in “a new era of relentless diplomacy.”
Turning to Iran, Biden reiterated that “the United States remains committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” adding that his administration is willing to return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action pact if the Islamic Republic “does the same.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh later announced that “As previously emphasized, the Vienna talks will resume soon and over the next few weeks,” according to his nation’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), in reference to the indirect talks his nation held with the US between April to June this year.
Other topics highlighted in Biden’s address included “decisive decade” faced by the world, in which he called for leaders to work together to combat the raging coronavirus pandemic, global climate change and cyber threats. He pledged to work with Congress to double funds by 2024 for helping developing nations deal with climate change to $11.4 billion per year, which would help achieve a global goal set more than a decade ago to mobilize $100 billion per year to support climate action in vulnerable countries; and also said the US will spend $10 billion to fight hunger.
“We’ll stand up for our allies and our friends and oppose attempts by stronger countries to dominate weaker ones, whether through changes to territory by force, economic coercion, technical exploitation or disinformation,” said the US leader, while stressing, “But we’re not seeking – I’ll say it again – we are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs.”
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will also be making his debut address before the UNGA. He is slated to speak to the gathering on 27 September. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Bennet will focus on Israel’s national security and regional issues, including Iran’s nuclear program and the Islamic Republic’s support for its armed terrorist proxies.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he will not be attending the annual opening of the world body, and will be sending a pre-taped speech.
Raisi boasted of his country’s resilience in the face of US sanctions while reiterating his predecessors’ claim that the Islamic Republic does not seek nuclear weapons but aspires for peace and “effective interaction with all the countries of the world.”
“The United States mistakenly believed it would render us desperate and devastated, but our perseverance has yielded results and will always do, for the smart and dynamic resistance of the Islamic Republic of Iran comes from our strategic rationality. And we don’t trust the promises made by the US government. It is the strategic policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to consider the production and stockpiling of atomic weapons as forbidden, and that based on the religious decree by His Eminence, the Supreme Leader,” proclaimed Raisi, adding that, “Nukes have no place in our defense doctrine and deterrence policy. The Islamic Republic considers the useful talks whose ultimate outcome is the lifting of all oppressive sanctions. While decisively defending all its rights and the interests of its people, Iran is keen to have large-scale political and economic cooperation and convergence with the rest of the world. I seek effective interaction with all the countries of the world especially with our neighbors and shake their hands warmly.”
The Iranian President’s claimed innocence has been refuted on all accounts, including Tehran’s regional role in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon – alongside the Ayatollah Regime’s nuclear aspirations when its AMAD program, aimed at developing a nuclear weapons’ program, was uncovered by a Western intelligence agency in 2003.
The Iranian leader nevertheless seized the global stage to blatantly defame the United States.
“As a matter of fact, any violation of the rights of nations will, more than anything, endanger global peace and security. Ladies and Gentlemen, this year, two scenes made history: one was on January the 6th when the US Congress was attacked by the people and, two, when the people of Afghanistan were dropped down from the U.S. planes in August. From the Capitol to Kabul, one clear message was sent to the world: the United States hegemonic system has no credibility, whether inside or outside the country,” he said.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry released a statement in response to the Iranian President’s speech, saying, “Raisi continues to fool the international community in a speech filled with lies and cynicism.”
Jerusalem further asserted that “The new government in Iran, headed by the “Butcher of Tehran” Raisi, and consisting largely of ministers suspected of terrorism and on global sanctions lists, is the extremist face of a regime that has brought harm to Iranian citizens for over forty years, which encourages and finances terrorism, and which is destabilizing the entire Middle East.”
The Foreign Ministry went on to call upon the international community “to condemn the Iranian regime and prevent any possibility of nuclear capabilities and weapons falling into the hands of these extremists.”
In related developments, Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hussein Salami declared that Iran has bolstered its power for the purpose of ‘defeating the United States’ – and therefore – “small powers like (Israel) are no longer counted in (the Islamic Republic’s) equations.”
In remarks quoted by Fars News agency, which is controlled by the Ayatollah-regime, the IRGC Commander also claimed that Iran had already “embraced victory” against, what he labeled as: “the US cruel sanctions and economic war, as well as the psychological pressures and heavy media operations of Washington and other western powers.”
The report further cited Salami as saying, “Today we no longer see a dangerous US, but we witness a failed, fleeing and depressed US.”
It is important to underscore that the statements made by the IRGC commander were published in English. In contrast, in the Persian publication of Fars News Agency, which focuses on Iran’s domestic audiences; commander of the IRGC’s Air Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh proclaimed that since the US killed former IRGC Commander Qassem Soleimani, the blacklisted military arm of the Ayatollah regime had vowed to expel the United States from the region.
General Hajizadeh further attempted to alleviate concerns over a potential Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear installations by insisting, “The words of the Zionist regime and their threats are nothing but nonsense.”
The IRGC Air Force Commander, who is directly responsible for multiple drone strikes throughout the region, went on to claim that the Jewish State is fragile and that the threats of war against Iran – especially after (what the Iranian general perceived as Israel’s) inability to defend against Palestinian (rocket-fire directed at Israel’s civilian communities) – are hollow of substance and merely a waste of time.”
Rather, Hajizadeh stressed “The Zionist regime must pack its bags and find an alternative place to live in the United States, Alaska or Europe.”