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Updated: Tue, 01 Oct 2013 12:00:43 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

Netanyahu slammed by Iran before speech to UN



Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly in New York Sept. 27, 2012. He was making another appearance before the Assembly today. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly in New York Sept. 27, 2012. He was making another appearance before the Assembly today. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was attacked by Iran's foreign minister Tuesday as a liar who is being isolated at the United Nations.

The insults came hours before Netanyahu was scheduled to address the UN General Assembly Tuesday morning.

JavadZarif

On Monday, Netanyahu implored U.S. President Barack Obama to maintain punishing sanctions in place against Tehran — and even tighten them if the Islamic republic advances its disputed nuclear programs while negotiating with the U.S.

"This is his nature, to lie …," Zarif said. "Over the past 22 years, the regime, Israel, has been saying Iran will have nuclear arms in six months. The continuation of this game, in fact, is based on lying, deception, incitement and harassment."

He also called Netanyahu the "most isolated individual" at the UN.

The tough language takes place amid speculation that relations between the U.S. and Iran may be improving for the first time in decades.

Visiting the United Nations last week, newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared to be reaching out to Obama while he visited New York. The overtures between the two were capped by a 15-minute phone call between the two.

Iran and Israel see each other as arch enemies. Tehran does not recognize the Jewish state, and supports anti-Israeli militants like Lebanon's Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas.

Israel has threatened to strike Iranian nuclear installations the West suspects have a military dimension. Iran denies the charge, saying its nuclear program is aimed at peaceful purposes like power generation and cancer treatment.

Speech to assembly

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was attacked by Iran's foreign minister Tuesday as a liar who is being isolated at the United Nations.

The insults came hours before Netanyahu was scheduled to address the UN General Assembly Tuesday morning.

The Tuesday remarks by Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York were broadcast on Iranian state TV. He called the Israeli leader a liar who requires deception to promote his policies.

On Monday, Netanyahu implored President Barack Obama to maintain punishing sanctions in place against Tehran — and even tighten them if the Islamic republic advances its disputed nuclear programs while negotiating with the U.S.

"This is his nature, to lie …," Zarif said. "Over the past 22 years, the regime, Israel, has been saying Iran will have nuclear arms in six months. The continuation of this game, in fact, is based on lying, deception, incitement and harassment."

Relations improving

He also called Netanyahu the "most isolated individual" at the UN.

The tough language took  place amid speculation that relations between the U.S. and Iran and the U.S. may be improving for the first time in decades.

Visiting the United Nations last week, newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared to be reaching out to Obama while he visited New York. The overtures between the pair were capped by a 15-minute phone call between the two leaders.

Iran and Israel see each other as arch enemies. Tehran does not recognize the Jewish state, and supports anti-Israeli militants like Lebanon's Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas.

Israel has threatened to strike Iranian nuclear installations the West suspects have a military dimension. Iran denies the charge, saying its nuclear program is aimed at peaceful purposes like power generation and cancer treatment.

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