Iran defies the world community
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the podium in New York Thursday as he passionately addressed the United Nations General Assembly. His address focused primarily on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Netanyahu condemned Ahmadinejad’s “anti-Semitic rants,” and controversial Holocaust claims.
In response to the Iranian President’s repeated claim that the “Holocaust is a lie,” Netanyahu said, “My wife’s grandparents, her father’s two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins, were all murdered by the Nazis. Is that also a lie?”
According to the Associated Press he furthered, “What of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie?”
As he stood at the podium waving the blueprints of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were killed, Netanyahu said, “Those plans are signed by Hitler’s deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Is that, too, a lie?”
CNN reports, that in his address, the Israeli Prime Minister said that the comments made by Ahmadinejad were disgraceful, and a “mockery of the charter of the United Nations.” Netanyahu applauded those who did not attend or those who left in protest when Iran’s president addressed the assembly. To those who listened to Ahmadinejad, Netanyahu asked, “Have you no shame? Have you no decency?”
The Iranian regime, he said, “Is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries.”
“In the past 30 years, this fanaticism has swept across the globe with a murderous violence that knows no bounds and with a cold-blooded impartiality in the choice of its victims,” he claimed.
Netanyahu urged the United Nations to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, stating that this issue is the biggest challenge facing the international body today.
“The greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction,” he warned.
The Iranian government has vigorously denied these allegations.
Iran’s president claims that the country’s nuclear facilities have been built for peaceful purposes, to provide nuclear energy, not weaponry.
Netanyahu’s remarks come on the heels of Iran announcing to the UN that it is soon to open a second enrichment plant. Although not yet operational, construction on the plant is said to already be complete.
The BBC reports that U.S President Barack Obama said that hiding the installation of another nuclear plant is in direct defiance of repeated calls for transparency over Iran’s nuclear agenda.
“Iran must comply with UN Security Council resolutions and make clear it is prepared to meet its responsibilities as a member of the community of nations,” he said. He threatened that Iran would be held accountable if it failed to do so.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy backed Obama and insisted that Iran must disclose its nuclear program in full detail or be faced with harsh new sanctions. Russia is also said to be concerned with Iran’s nuclear developments.
According to Brown, the U.S., France and U.K. are “at one” on this particular issue. “Iran must abandon any military ambitions for its nuclear program,” he said.
Mr. Sarkozy added that, “Everything must be put on the table.”
Once informed of the new Iranian plant by President Obama, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev concluded that the plant was not in compliance with UN Security Council resolutions.
Medvedev agreed that Iran must comply fully with regulations outlined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Iran, however, denies that the newest plant was a secret. Akbar Saleri, head of the country’s nuclear agency, told the American Free Press that the “installation is not a secret one, which is why we announced its existence to the IAEA.”
According to Iranian officials, the IAEA is to be notified of a new facility only 180 days before any nuclear material is placed in it.
As the current facility is not yet operational, the Iranian government believes that it has not committed any wrongdoings.