Ban Ki-Moon and Ahmadinejad
Ban Ki-Moon and AhmadinejadReuters

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Iran’s leaders to stop threatening Israel, his spokesman said on Wednesday.

Ban, who arrived in Iran on Wednesday for the Non-Aligned Movement Conference, had a series of meetings with Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

Ban also held talks with the Iranian Parliament Speaker, Ali Larijani, and with Saeed Jalili, the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.

“In all these meetings, the Secretary-General conveyed the clear concerns and expectations of the international community on the issues for which cooperation and progress are urgent for both regional stability and the welfare of the Iranian people,” said Nesirky.

He added, “On human rights, the Secretary-General in his meeting with the President said that the human rights situation in Iran remains a source of concern. He said fundamental, civil and political rights should be respected. He also mentioned in his meeting with the President, and separately with the Supreme Leader, that he strongly objected to recent remarks from Iranian officials denying the Holocaust and Israel’s right to exist. He said that such offensive and inflammatory statements were unacceptable and should be condemned by all.”

Both Ahmadinejad and Khamenei have repeatedly called to wipe Israel off the map. Most recently, Ahmadinejad said that “any freedom lover and justice seeker in the world must do its best for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the path for the establishment of justice and freedom in the world.”

Khamenei recently said, “The light of hope will shine on the Palestinian issue, and this Islamic land will certainly be returned to the Palestinian nation, and the superfluous and fake Zionist (regime) will disappear from the landscape of geography.”

Ban’s spokesman said that the Secretary-General also discussed Iran’s nuclear program with Iran’s leaders, telling them “that Iran needed to take concrete steps to address the concerns of the International Atomic Energy Agency and prove to the world that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.”

“He said that there is no alternative to peaceful, diplomatic and negotiated settlement which should be reached step by step and based on reciprocity,” said Nesirky.

Ban also “urged both the President and the Supreme Leader in separate meetings to use Iran’s influence to impress upon the Syrian leadership the urgent need for the violence to stop and to create the condition for a credible dialogue and a genuine political process that meets the will of the Syrian people.”

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attacked the participants in the Summit of Non-Aligned States, saying the summit “is a disgrace and a stain upon humanity.”

Netanyahu said this at the start of his meeting with David McAllister, Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, who is visiting Israel.

Before Ban’s trip, Netanyahu spoke with the UN Secretary-General and told him that a trip to Tehran is a major mistake.

Netanyahu told Ban 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.