Following is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's response to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's speech to the UN General Assembly:
"As expected, this was a cynical speech that was full of hypocrisy. Rouhani spoke of human rights even as Iranian forces are participating in the large-scale slaughter of innocent civilians in Syria.
He condemned terrorism even as the Iranian regime is using terrorism in dozens of countries around the world.
He spoke of a nuclear program for civilian purposes even as an IAEA report determines that the program has military dimensions and when any rational person understands that Iran, one of the most oil-rich nations, is not investing capital in ballistic missiles and underground nuclear facilities in order to produce electricity.
It is no coincidence that the speech lacked both any practical proposal to stop Iran's military nuclear program and any commitment to fulfill 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. Rouhani knows this well.
He bragged that a decade ago, he succeeded in misleading the West so that while Iran was holding talks, it simultaneously advanced its nuclear program. The international community must test Iran not by its words but by its actions.
The Israeli delegation absented itself from Rouhani's speech in order not to 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. As the Prime Minister of Israel, the state of the Jewish people, 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."