Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, and told him that his anticipated trip to Tehran this month is a major mistake, even if it is being made with good intentions. Ban is planning to visit Iran for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit.
Netanyahu criticized Ban’s visit, telling him that he sees no reason to visit a country the regime of which is anti-Semitic and which has set for itself the goal of destroying the State of Israel.
“During your tenure as UN Secretary-General, you have acted fairly. This is why I was so disappointed to hear about your intention to attend the non-aligned summit that will be held in Tehran at the end of the month,” Netanyahu told Ban.
“Even if it is not your intention, your visit will grant legitimacy to a regime that is the greatest threat to world peace and security,” he added.
“Not only does it threaten countries throughout the Middle East, not only is it the greatest terrorism exporter in the world, but it is impossible to exaggerate the danger it presents to Israel.
“The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of the State of Israel and openly declares its intention to destroy the State of Israel.
“Only a week ago,” said Netanyahu, “the President of Iran said that all who love freedom and justice in the world are obligated to unite in order to destroy the Zionist entity.
“In June, the Vice President of Iran exploited a UN-sponsored conference as a platform for a wicked anti-Semitic speech in which he accused Zionists of being responsible for – inter alia – international drug trafficking, the Bolshevik revolution, and the murder of black babies. He also added that the Talmud calls for the destruction of anyone who opposes Judaism.
“A month before that, in May, the Iranian Chief of Staff said that the Iranian state was committed to the complete destruction of the Zionist entity in Israel,” said Netanyahu.
“That is what the Iranian regime says and this is what it does: It wages an international terrorist campaign in 24 countries on five continents, including the recent murderous terror attack in Bulgaria that was carried out by its long arm – Hizbullah.
“It arms Hizbullah, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad so their emissaries will continue to fire thousands of missiles on Israeli cities and citizens.
“And worst of all, the Iranian regime is continuing its nuclear weapons program. In spite of decisions by the UN Security Council, harsh sanctions and repeated proposals to reach a diplomatic solution, the Iranian regime ignores the international community, misleads inspectors and races to carry out its intention of equipping itself with nuclear weapons.
“To reward Iran for its impudence by a visit of the UN Secretary-General would be a horrible mistake. To grant legitimacy, however unintentional, to a regime that openly calls for the elimination of another UN member state will stain you and the organization you lead.
“Mr. Secretary-General, your place is not in Tehran,” concluded Netanyahu.
The American Jewish Committee global advocacy organization has also asked Ban to reconsider his planned visit to Iran.
“We strongly urge you not to participate – and not allow a regime that flouts international law, denies human rights, practices terrorism, and preaches contemptible prejudice to exploit the prestige of the United Nations for its ignoble ends,” AJC Executive Director David Harris and President Robert Elman said in a letter to the Secretary General.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)