JERUSALEM – Israel's prime minister has instructed Israeli diplomats to leave the U.N. General Assembly when Iran's new president, Hasan Rouhani, addresses the gathering later Tuesday.
In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that despite a new Iranian "smile offensive," the policies of the Islamic republic remain the same. He accused Rouhani of refusing to recognize the Holocaust.
Netanyahu says that when Iran's leaders stop denying the Holocaust, halt their calls for Israel's destruction and recognize Israel's right to exist, then Israel will be ready to listen to their U.N. speeches.
Israel accuses Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies. Israel fears that Rouhani's signs of moderation will ease international pressure on the suspect Iranian nuclear program.