In his speech in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Tehran, United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, launched a veiled attack on Iran, criticizing it its latest comments against Israel.
“I strongly reject threats by any member state to destroy another ,or outrageous attempts to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust,” Ban said in his speech during the summit, adding that any claims denying Israel’s right to exist or using racist terms while describing it is “not only wrong but undermines the very principle we all have pledged to uphold.”
Ban’s speech had been preceded by comments by UN spokesman, Martin Nesirky, who stated that during Ban’s meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday, the UN Secretary General described Iran’s latest verbal attack on Israel as “offensive, inflammatory and unacceptable”, Reuters reported.
Earlier in the month, Ahmadinejad had made statements about a future Middle East where there shall be no place for Israel, while Khamenei had said that a day would come when Israel, as we know it, would “cease to exist” as it would be returned back to the Palestinians.
According to the statements Nesirky made to New York reporters, Ban also addressed the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, urging the Islamic Republic to “take concrete steps to address the concerns of the International Atomic Energy Agency and prove to the world its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.”
Ban also referred to the Syrian conflict during his meeting with the top Iranian leaders, recommending that Iran uses its influence over Syria to help put an end to the escalating crisis there. This came amid statements by the UN released last week hinting that Iran seemed to be supplying the Syrian regime with weapons in order to quell the Syria uprising, Reuters reported.
For his part, Iranian parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, called on the UN secretary general to put an end to the “bullying actions” taking place in the Middle East, according to Iranian state-owned Fars News Agency (FNA).
“At present, what we see in the region is the result of certain countries’ adventurism; of course I have expressed my concerns over the issues and events in Syria (in talks with Ban Ki-moon)” FNA quoted Larijani saying in a joint press conference following the meeting with Moon on Wednesday.
Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, made rather bitter comments about the
NAM summit to the prime minister of the German state of Lower Saxony , David McAllister, on Wednesday, describing the summit as a “disgrace and a stain on humanity”, according to Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post.
As he recalled the Holocaust, Netanyahu mentioned how unacceptable it is that “over 120 countries are (meeting) in Tehran, saluting a regime that not only denies the Holocaust but pledges to annihilate the Jewish state”.