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Iran calls Israeli accusations baseless

UNITED NATIONS — Iran said Friday that Israel’s latest warnings at the United Nations of an impending Iranian atomic weapons threat were baseless theatrics and called on Israel to disband its own unacknowledged nuclear weapons arsenal.

The Iranians were responding to the General Assembly speech Thursday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who described Iran as an apocalyptic threat. He devoted much of his speech to an argument that Iran, which has repeatedly denied Israel’s right to exist, will have amassed nearly enough enriched uranium by next year to build a nuclear weapon.

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In his speech, Netanyahu thanked President Obama for his warnings to Iran, in effect signaling his desire to smooth over a rift between the two over how to deter what both men have called Iran’s nuclear threat.

The White House said in a statement that President Obama and Netanyahu spoke by telephone Friday and ‘‘discussed a range of security issues, and the President reaffirmed his and our country’s unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.’’

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The statement also said both men ‘‘underscored that they are in full agreement on the shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.’’

New York Times

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