Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel cast doubt on Iran’s sudden interest in diplomacy on Tuesday, saying that new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is just as committed to developing a nuclear weapon as his successor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Netanyahu told the United Nations General Assembly, according to the Associated Press.
Netanyahu dismissed Rouhani’s recent “charm offensive” during his own U.N. visit last week as a ploy to get relief from economic sanctions, and vowed he will never let the country make nuclear weapons, which he said were a mortal threat to Israel.
Mr. Khodadad Seifi, an Iranian diplomat, responded in a statement that Iran’s nuclear program, as the country has long maintained in the face of western skepticism, is for peaceful energy purposes only.
“I do not want to dignify such unfounded accusations with an answer other than categorically rejecting them all,” he said. “The Israeli Prime Minister had better not even think about attacking Iran, let alone planning for that.”